Final in 10

Blue Jays 2

(7-4, 4-2 away)

Tigers 2

(6-5, 4-3 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 15, 2005

    Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, Florida 

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    TOR 0001001000 2 - -
    DET 0001100000 2 - -

    Toronto 2, Detroit 2 (10 innings)

    LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Gabe Gross hit his sixth homer and Josh Towers had his best outing of the spring for the Toronto Blue Jays, who tied the Detroit Tigers 2-2 in 10 innings Tuesday.

    Gross, who will probably start the season at Triple-A Syracuse because of Toronto's crowded outfield, is batting .500 with 11 RBI.

    "Coming in there isn't a spot for him right now," manager John Gibbons said. "But he has everybody's attention. I will leave it at that."

    Toronto's first pick in the 2000 draft, Gross played in 44 games for the Blue Jays in 2004 and hit .209 with three homers and 16 RBI. But now he's on his best streak in a long time.

    "You'd have to go all the way back to high school or college and aluminum bats," Gross said. "I've had some pretty good hitting streaks, but I don't think I've ever had this many home runs in so few at-bats.

    "I don't think I'd be honest with anybody if I said I didn't want to be in the big leagues. Whether or not that happens, I don't know," he said. "I'm not in the position to make that decision. I'm going to showcase everything I can about myself in the hopes that it can get me there."

    Making his third start, Towers allowed one run and two hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out one, throwing 45 of his 67 pitches for strikes.

    "I am pleased with the outing," Towers said. "In the fourth inning I think I could have made better pitches. I was throwing strikes and locating them pretty good today. I just went after them."

    Dmitri Young hit an RBI triple off Towers. Jason Smith hit his second homer of the spring in the fifth off Blue Jays reliever Vinnie Chulk, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

    Guillermo Quiroz's RBI single in the seventh tied it at 2.

    Toronto put two on in the 10th with two outs, but left fielder Craig Monroe ended the threat by leaning into the stands to catch John-Ford Griffin's slicing pop foul.

    Monroe is the front-runner for the everyday job in center field after the Tigers released Alex Sanchez earlier Tuesday.

    Nook Logan and Dewayne Wise split center-field duties against Toronto. Sanchez's departure also leaves the leadoff spot open.

    "This is a pretty big move," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "Our options are good, but I don't know how it's going to shake out."

    Logan went 0-for-3 as the leadoff hitter, and Wise was 1-for-2.

    Mainly a corner outfielder in the past, Monroe has played only 29 major league games in center.

    "I know it's going to be an adjustment," he said. "I can accept that if that's the situation I'm put in."

    Jason Johnson, expected to start on opening day for Detroit, gave up one run and four hits in four innings.

    Tigers closer Troy Percival threw two scoreless innings.

    "He told me that's the first time in six years he's gone two innings," Trammell said.

    Game notes

    The Tigers placed 2B Fernando Vina on the 60-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain and patellar tendinitis in his left knee. ... Toronto CF Vernon Wells is hitting .136 in seven games with one RBI. "It's just a slow start," hitting coach Mike Barnett said. "He says he is seeing the ball great and is feeling good. He's just letting the ball travel and getting his timing." ... The last two AL Cy Young Award winners will face each other Wednesday when Toronto RHP Roy Halladay (2003) faces Minnesota LHP Johan Santana (2004). ... In seven games at 1B this spring, converted 3B Eric Hinske has not made an error for Toronto. Hinske was drafted by the Cubs as a first baseman and played there in rookie ball. ... Blue Jays 3B Corey Koskie (groin strain) is still three to four days from returning to game action.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press