KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Victor Martinez had three hits and the Detroit Tigers roughed up Houston starter Brett Myers in a 9-1 victory over the Astros on Monday.
Austin Jackson also had three of Detroit's 18 hits and Phil Coke pitched five strong innings. Alex Avila drove in three runs.
Myers is scheduled to start the season opener April 1 at Philadelphia, his former team. The right-hander gave up five runs, 12 hits and three walks in five innings Monday.
``I felt like I threw a lot of strikes today and I had good movement on my pitches, and for the most part I felt I threw the ball really well,' Myers said. ``I know the results weren't there, but that's what happens.'
After giving up one run and four hits, Coke was informed by manager Jim Leyland that he will be in the bullpen for the first nine days of the season, two of which are off days.
``He's going to throw 50 pitches his next time, and then we'll set up his start on (April 9),' Leyland said. ``He'll be a member of the bullpen and I'll use the bullpen as I see fit, like I would any other time.'
Before Coke's start on April 9, the Tigers will pitch Justin Verlander on March 31 and April 6, Brad Penny on April 2 and 7, Max Scherzer on April 3 and 8, and Rick Porcello on April 4.
Martinez had a leadoff double in the seventh, the first hit allowed by Astros reliever Wilton Lopez this spring. Lopez, who had pitched six perfect innings in six appearances, gave up a run in one inning of work but struck out two.
Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon was ejected by plate umpire Mark Lollo in the middle of the fourth.
Michael Bourn had two of Houston's four hits.
The Associated Press News Service
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