LAKELAND, Fla. -- Brad Penny was concentrating on keeping his pitch count down.
Detroit's new right-hander was one of 11 pitchers who kept the score down Sunday.Victor Martinez drove in the game's only run with a sacrifice fly off Henderson Alvarez in the sixth inning, and the Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 in an exhibition game."I was just throwing a nice, easy sinker," Penny said after tossing the first two innings of the Tigers' second straight shutout. "I got three ground-ball outs (in the second), and I don't know if I've ever gotten three ground-ball outs because I usually don't throw a sinker."The only run was unearned after a leadoff single by Andy Dirks, a bunt by Will Rhymes and a throwing error by Toronto catcher Joe Molina. Martinez followed with the sacrifice fly.The 32-year Penny, who was limited to nine starts for St. Louis last season by an injury to his latissimus dorsi -- the back of the shoulder -- has been trying to develop a more reliable sinker this spring."He used to get the four-seamer up all the time because he was a big power guy, but you can't live up there," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He was making a good, conscious effort to get the ball down today and I was very impressed with that."Penny said he threw three or four sinkers in his first spring start, and might gain more confidence in it as the spring goes on."We'll see," he said. "If it works I'll use it, if it doesn't, I don't know."Max Scherzer followed Penny with two hitless innings, and Joaquin Benoit got the win after pitching the sixth inning. Brayan Villarreal pitched the ninth for a save.Toronto starter Mark Rzepzcynski also pitched two hitless innings, while Dirks had two of the Tigers' four hits. The Blue Jays had only three.
Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera, who reported to camp a week late, will be in the lineup for the first time this spring as DH in Monday's game against the Yankees. Cabrera was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol Feb. 15 near Fort Pierce, Fla., and did not arrive until Thursday ... Two more of Detroit's starting pitchers, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, will pitch Monday.