LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-1, on Thursday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
The Tigers are 11-10 in Grapefruit League play.
Right-hander Spencer Turnbull felt like his mechanics were out of whack from the moment he stepped in the bullpen to warm up. The inconsistencies translated to his third start in spring training.
The 30-year-old allowed three runs on six hits with zero walks and four strikeouts in three innings. He threw 51 pitches (35 strikes) and tossed an additional 12-15 pitches after his outing.
“I did not have my best stuff today,” Turnbull said. “The four-seamer was really off. That was a struggle. Command wasn’t there. I threw some good sinkers and some good sliders, but I felt a little off today.”
MATCHUPS MATTER: Tigers’ 2023 Opening Day roster prediction 2.0
A ‘COMFORTABLE’ JAVY: Can World Baseball Classic help Javier Báez energize Tigers in 2023?
Two relievers competing for spots in the bullpen on the Opening Day roster — right-hander Trey Wingenter and left-hander Chasen Shreve — looked sharp in the fifth and sixth innings.
Wingenter, who hasn’t allowed a run in five innings this spring, struck out two in a perfect fifth inning, throwing 10 of 16 pitches for strikes. He registered five whiffs, including four with his slider, and his fastball averaged 96.5 mph.
“His misses are near misses,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “His stuff is really good. He’s been impressive in camp. We just got to keep him holding up and continuing to bounce back. We don’t talk about his health, but he’s had a tough last couple of years. Where he’s at physically is a good sign.”
Shreve, who has a 1.69 ERA in 5⅓ innings, struck out one batter and worked around a two-out single in the sixth inning, throwing 11 of 17 pitches for strikes. He generated four whiffs, two each with his changeup and slider.
Right-hander Garrett Hill took over for the eighth and ninth innings. He could pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen, either in Detroit or in Triple-A Toledo, coming out of spring training.
Hill pitched a perfect eighth inning before crumbling in the ninth. He allowed a double and hit two batters to load the bases with one out. That’s when Cade Fergus blasted a grand slam to left field, making it 10-1.
“Those balls were supposed to be in,” Hinch said, “and they leaked in and hit those guys.”
The Phillies attacked Turnbull from the beginning.
Bryson Stott, the leadoff hitter, hammered a fourth-pitch four-seam fastball for an opposite-field solo home run to left-center field. The next batter, Edmundo Sosa, ripped a sinker for a single.
Turnbull avoided further damage by striking out ex-Tiger Kody Clemens. He looked sharp in the second inning with three strikeouts — Weston Wilson (94.3 mph sinker), Jim Haley (87.3 mph slider) and Carlos De La Cruz (95.1 mph sinker) — before falling apart in the third frame.
“My mechanics were off today,” Turnbull said. “I wasn’t feeling synched up. I felt like I was searching a little bit, but I never really found it. It just wasn’t coming out. I was flying open a lot and trying to muscle up with the arms instead of getting my power from the ground.”
After Stott singled to open the third, Turnbull countered with back-to-back outs on balls in play. He worked ahead 0-2 in the count to Dalton Guthrie but couldn’t put him away. Guthrie doubled to right field to put two runners in scoring position.
Clemens, who made his MLB debut for the Tigers last season before being traded to Philly as part of the Gregory Soto deal, ripped a first-pitch fastball for a two-run single, putting the Phillies ahead, 3-1. Turnbull hit the next batter before getting out of the inning.
Turnbull threw 51 pitches: 23 sinkers, 12 four-seam fastballs, 10 sliders, five changeups and one curveball. His sinker averaged 93.8 mph, while his four-seamer averaged 93.5 mph.
“It was probably the mid-camp start that a lot of these guys go through where he doesn’t feel quite synched up,” Hinch said. “The results indicated that with how he was spraying the ball more. He threw a lot more fastballs than he needed to. We’ll take it as a volume day.”
At the plate
Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler tossed 66 pitches and carved up the Tigers across 4⅓ innings. He allowed one run on three hits and one walk with five strikeouts in his fourth start this spring.
The Tigers scored their only run in the second inning.
Nick Maton, who played for the Phillies from 2021-22 before being shipped to the Tigers in the Soto deal, received a two-strike slider near the middle of the strike zone and didn’t miss. After his double, Eric Haase singled to right to put the Tigers on the scoreboard.
The Tigers finished with five hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts.
On the mound
Right-handed reliever Jason Foley was hit around in the fourth inning.
He allowed a leadoff solo home run to Haley on a slider below the strike zone, then a two-run home run to Darick Hall on a sinker inside the zone. The Phillies took a 6-1 lead with those homers.
Left-hander Jace Fry worked around one hit and one walk for a scoreless seventh inning.
Hill threw 27 of 40 pitches for strikes and recorded four strikeouts with his fastballs and slider. His four-seam fastball and sinker sat around 94-96 mph.
1. Wingenter; 2. Shreve; 3. Maton.
Friday (1:05 p.m.) vs. New York Yankees in Lakeland.
Contact Evan Petzold at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.