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Six-run first inning helps power Tigers past Phillies in spring opener

Willi Castro Tigers Spring Training
Posted at 6:18 AM, Mar 01, 2021

Willi Castro homered as part of a six-run first inning for the Detroit Tigers in a 10-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in the opening game of Grapefruit League play Sunday.

Following Castro's home run, Jeimer Candelario, Christin Stewart, and Wilson Ramos all scored on bases-loaded walks to stretch Detroit's lead to 4-1. Dustin Garneau added an RBI single to score Harold Castro, and Willi Castro drove in Akil Baddoo on a groundout to make it 6-1.

"The first inning, the quality of at-bats, I thought was exceptional," manager AJ Hinch said after the game. "Really top to bottom, the entire inning, whether it was drawing walks, hitting the ball hard, RBI opportunities...Willie (Castro) leading off spring with a homer was a nice little boost."

Detroit starting pitcher Tyler Alexander gave up two earned runs (including a leadoff solo homer to Adam Haseley) in two innings of work, with a strikeout and no walks.

Daniel Pinero homered for Detroit in the fifth inning and Eric Haase added a solo home run in the sixth inning.

Sunday's announced attendance at Joker Marchant Stadium was 2,000. The Tigers announced they would allow that amount of fans - approximately 20 percent of the park's capacity - for games in Lakeland this spring.

Detroit visits the New York Yankees on Monday. Kyle Funkhouser is scheduled to start in place of Michael Fulmer.