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Tigers news and notes: Game recap, roster trimmed, and more!

The Detroit Tigers went into today’s spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles with their Opening Day lineup basically in tact. The only exception being outfielder Rajai Davis starting in center field and leading off in place of Anthony Gose. Davis is expected to play against right-handed pitchers, while Gose will be in the lineup versus southpaws. We have a brief game recap and more updates on the roster on this daily edition of Tigers news and notes.

TIGERS 6, ORIOLES 4

The Tigers rolled out their everyday lineup Thursday afternoon against the O’s. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter decided to have most of his big names sit today’s contest, but the young talented Manny Machado and former Tiger playoff hero Delmon Young were in the lineup for the Orioles.

Tigers pitcher David Price started for Detroit, pitching into the 7th inning and giving up just three earned runs. Price said he felt pretty good on the bump Thursday.

Some not so good and reoccurring news on Tigers pitching: closer Joe Nathan came into the game in the 8th inning and gave up a solo home run. He threw just five pitches in his outing. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus did say that he was dealing with some sort of thumbnail issue today.

Despite the continuing struggles for Nathan, Ausmus is stern that there is zero competition for the closer role in Detroit.

There was some good signs from the bats this afternoon, particularly the teeth of the lineup. First baseman Miguel Cabrera and designated hitter Victor Martinez both hit a home run on Thursday, their first of the spring. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes also went yard for the third time.

V. Martinez will see game action tomorrow. Cabrera will have the day off, according to the skipper.


 

MORE ROSTER CHANGES

The Tigers made more moves to their roster on Thursday, as they continue to trim down to 25 players by opening day. One of the Tigers top pitching prospects, Buck Farmer, was optioned to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens Thursday morning. Pitcher Rafael Dolis was also assigned to minor league camp.

Farmer was one of many young and upcoming pitchers expected to compete for a starting spot in the bullpen for Detroit in 2015. He has established himself as more of a starter for his career, and will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills in the coming years. Starting down in Triple-A will further help him fine tune his mechanics.


 

OPENING DAY FIRST PITCH

There have been a number of rumors swirling around about who was going to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers. No Michigan fans, it will not be head football coach Jim Harbaugh, as some might have thought it could be. Drum roll please…..

J.K. Simmons was born in Detroit, so it would only be fitting. Cannot really argue with that decision there.

For those who may not know who Simmons is or what he is in, you may recognize him from series like Law & Order on NBC, Oz on HBO, or The Closer on TNT. He also appears in a series of television commercials for Farmers Insurance.

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Who is throwing the first pitch on Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers?

Listen to Tom Izzo’s pre-game speech before beating Virginia (Video)