MILWAUKEE (AP) -Rick Porcello finished another strong spring with a flourish. Now both the Detroit Tigers and the Milwaukee Brewers hope their exhibition sloppiness is over.
The Tigers blew a three-run lead in the ninth and Milwaukee's Corey Hart scored the winner on an ugly error with two outs in the Brewers' 13-12 victory over Detroit in Saturday's exhibition finale for both teams.
``That's an interesting ending,' Brewers manager Ken Macha said. ``When you're hustling, stuff happens.'
Milwaukee starts its season against the Rockies at Miller Park on Monday, while Detroit travels to Kansas City.
Porcello left after 4 1-3 scoreless innings with a 5-0 lead, but Milwaukee rallied for eight runs in the fifth and led 9-5 at one point. The Tigers hit five home runs, including Jeff Larish's go-ahead blast to lead off the ninth, and took a 12-9 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.
But Milwaukee rallied for four runs with two outs, ending the game when pitcher Robbie Weinhardt misplayed a throw trying to cover first and was late with his relay to the plate as Hart slid home safely.
``We just out-uglied them. We were both pretty ugly. That was ugly,' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Magglio Ordonez, Austin Jackson, Ryan Raburn and Danny Worth all hit two-run homers for Detroit, while the 21-year-old Porcello allowed just five runs in six spring training starts a year after he made a strong preseason impression and went on to win 14 games as a rookie.
``It felt good. Throwing all my pitches for strikes for the most part so obviously as we go into the season I'm ready to go,' Porcello said. ``It was a good outing. I'll try and carry it over.'
Against the Brewers, he allowed two hits and three balls out of the infield. He left in the fifth with a big smile on his face after getting a leadoff groundout. But relievers Joel Zumaya and Phil Coke imploded and Milwaukee rallied for eight runs, scoring on an error, a hit batter, a misplayed fly ball and two other run-scoring hits.
Milwaukee went on to lead 9-5 after the sixth, but Raburn and Worth's home runs tied it and Larish's drive bounced just beyond the wall in center field. The Tigers added two more runs in the inning before Milwaukee rallied.
``It was one of those games today where you figured the last guy with a bat in his hands was going to be the one that won the game,' Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun said. ``You could kind of feel that coming.'
At least the Tigers got healthier in Milwaukee.
Third baseman Brandon Inge asked to be back in the lineup to test how he felt on short rest after returning from offseason surgery on both knees and designated hitter Carlos Guillen (left hamstring) also played.
Leyland said both would be ready Monday.
NOTES: Macha declined to name a right field starter, but is leaning toward Hart over Jim Edmonds (left hamstring) and Jody Gerut. He said he'll make his decision about three hours before the game against the Rockies begins on Monday. ... Detroit LHP Dontrelle Willis came in as a reliever in the sixth. He's slated to pitch the third game against the Royals on Thursday. ... Detroit RHP Jeremy Bonderman will pitch a minor league game on Sunday before traveling to Kansas City.
The Associated Press News Service
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