LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - Andy Dirks had the big hit for the Tigers. Manager Jim Leyland, though, was most impressed with Brennan Boesch's at-bat.
Dirks hit a two-run triple in the ninth inning, giving the Detroit Tigers a 2-1 victory over a split squad of Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
Dirks' winning hit came off Arodys Vizcaino after singles by Brennan Boesch and Scott Sizemore.
``The key to that inning was the at-bat Boesch had, fighting that guy off,' Leyland said. ``I like the way he battled and got on base. That's very big. I thought it was a great at-bat.'
Atlanta led, 1-0, when Arodys Vizcaino got the first out in the bottom of the ninth, but Boesch drove a single to center field, his second straight hit.
``I looked up (at the scoreboard) and I think he hit 99 (mph) against me. He was bringing a pretty firm fastball,' Boesch said. ``He threw a couple good sliders that I fouled off and then he threw a fastball that he left out over the plate that I could hit.'
Sizemore followed with another single and Dirks, who is hitting .354 this spring, ended the game with a triple in the gap.
Beachy, bidding for a spot in Atlanta's pitching rotation, was nearly perfect after giving up a couple of first-inning walks.
``He was was scheduled to go six, but he wound up going five,' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``I think he got to 87 pitches.
``The first inning there was a little adversity, but he got out of it against some pretty good hitters,' Gonzalez said. ``And that's the kind of stuff you want to see in a young pitcher.'
Jordan Schafer led off the game with a triple and scored the Braves' only run.
Rick Porcello pitched 4 2-3 innings for the Tigers, giving up three hits including Alex Gonzalez's single that drove in Schafer.
Daniel Schlereth worked two perfect innings of relief for Detroit. NOTES: The Tigers optioned pitchers Charlie Furbush and Alberto Alburquerque to Toledo and reassigned infielder Argeniz Diaz and first baseman Scott Thorman to their minor league camp.
The Associated Press News Service
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