DETROIT —- It is official spring is here!
The 2013 home opener for the Detroit Tigers makes it official, inside Comerica Park a record crowd of 41,051, the sunshine cascading around the city, the New York Yankees and the sound of baseball echoing through the city-nothing is better!
Detroit Tiger’s first baseman Prince Fielder contributed to the party atmosphere by hitting two home run and the Tigers defeated the Yankees 8-3, preserving the first home win of the season.
Everybody knows Fielder’s story, he is the prodigal son, his dad is a Tiger legend and when Fielder came home, the city embraced him with a long over due community hug.
The Tigers needed help last season because of a season-long injury to designator hitter Victor Martinez, so Detroit Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski dipped into the free agency pool and was able to sign Fielder and Dombrowski even had the blessing of Miguel Cabrera who agreed to change position so Fielder could play first base.
After starting the 2013 season, losing two games up in Minnesota against the Twins, Detroit Tiger manager Jim Leyland needed a quality start from his tall right hander starting pitcher Doug Fister and like the fans of the Tigers, Leyland is waiting for the offense to arrive to the 2013 season.
Fister worked five innings and during the game, he looked like he struggled during his outing, Fister gave up six hits including a home run by Yankee third baseman Kevin Youkills in the fifth inning giving the Yankees the lead.
“He is struggling with his command,” Leyland said. “He will get better when he gets out there.”
Fielder got the lead back in the bottom of the fifth when he took a Boone Logan pitch just to the edge of the right field wall for his first home run of the season.
Fielder’s second home run of the day was a no doubter, he deposited a Shawn Kelly curveball way back in the seats in right field.
“No not really,” Fielder said when asked if he was waiting for the curveball.
Leyland went into the bullpen at top of the sixth inning with Drew Smyly who came in the game the first game of the season in Minnesota because of the cold it became difficult for Smyly to grip and feel the ball.
Smyly worked four innings and did not give up a hit or a run shutting down the Yankees including striking out five Yankee hitters.
“He pounded the strike zone,” Fielder said about Smyly effort.
The Tigers offense scattered nine hits against the Yankees, Tiger center fielder Austin Jackson, right fielder Torii Hunter and second baseman Omar Infante had two hits.
Tigers’ catcher Alex Avila struggling at the plate found a fastball and found the seats deep in right field for his first home run of the season.
The weekend series continues against the New York Yankees with afternoon games at Comerica Park. Saturday’s game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and Sunday’s game will start at 1 p.m.
It is official, spring has arrived in the city of Detroit with Tiger baseball being played at Comerica Park.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.