3/2/2013 4:00 P.M. ET
Offensive show from Marte not enough for Bucs
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera bid farewell to camp on his way to the World Baseball Classic with a two-run homer, supporting Drew Smyly's three perfect innings, and Detroit's split-squad home team took a 4-1 win over the Pirates on Saturday at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Cabrera said earlier in the week that he was trying to round his game into shape quickly so that he would be ready when he left for Venezuela's camp. Saturday's effort was a pretty good sign, from his third home run of the spring to a pair of diving stops at third base.
With winds gusting toward right field, Cabrera's opposite-field power wasn't likely to be contained. Once he skied a first-pitch offering from Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez, the ball kept carrying toward the back of the Tigers' bullpen beyond right field.
The homer was one of two runs scored by Austin Jackson, who led off the game with a single before Rule 5 pick Jeff Kobernus tripled him in with a drive to the fence in left-center field. Cabrera plated Kobernus with a groundout to short.
Gomez gave up four runs on three hits and three walks in three innings.
Smyly continued his bid for the fifth spot in the Tigers' rotation by retiring the Pirates' lineup in order, though the Pirates did not bring such stars as Andrew McCutchen or Neil Walker on the trip. Smyly struck out two and changed speeds effectively along the way to 47 pitches, 29 of them for strikes.
Starling Marte broke up Detroit's perfect outing with a well-placed bunt rolling down the third-base line leading off the fourth inning. The ball left Cabrera, pitcher Octavio Dotel and catcher Alex Avila all watching, and Marte advanced to first base without a throw.
Up next: The Pirates begin a three-day homestand on Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup against the Astros. Kyle McPherson will make his second start of the spring, trying to build off his two scoreless innings against the Twins on Feb. 25. Jason Grilli, Tony Watson, Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris and Kyle Waldrop are also scheduled to pitch.