JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Jose Reyes made his spring debut with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday and hit a line drive to third in his first at-bat.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello was impressed.
“He hit that ball so hard,” Porcello said. “He’s obviously a good hitter.”
Reyes went 0 for 3 in a 3-1 exhibition loss in his first game with his new team, but the reigning National League batting champion isn’t concerned with his results this early in the spring.
“Spring training is all about feeling good at the plate and putting a good swing on the ball,” said Reyes, who also flew out to left and grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Reyes was part of an offseason overhaul for Miami. The speedy shortstop agreed to a $106 million, six-year contract with the Marlins over the winter, leaving the New York Mets in free agency.
“It’s nothing different,” he said. “It’s baseball. It’s still the same game, but with a different uniform. It was kind of exciting to get on the field in a real with my new team. It was good.”
Porcello, who went 14-9 last season, also made his spring debut. He allowed an unearned run and a hit in two innings
“It’s definitely good to see my sinker had good life on it, my four-seamer wasn’t as consistent as I’d like it to be at this time of year, but my changeup and slider, I had a pretty good feel for those,” Porcello said.
Porcello allowed the run in the first inning after a throwing error by third baseman Danny Worth, but then retired the next five batters on groundouts.
“He’s starting to mature as a pitcher,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “You can see it in his face, his work habits, and confidence on the mound. Body language tells a lot.”
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton went 1 for 3, former All-Star Omar Infante was 1 for 2, and center fielder Emilio Bonifacio went 1 for 2.
Marlins starter Alex Sanabia allowed three runs, two earned, and six hits in 1 1-3 innings.
Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson went 2 for 3 to raise his spring average to .444 in four games.
NOTES: Leyland shared a big laugh with Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen before the game. Leyland coached Guillen back in 1985 and managed against him when Guillen was with the division-rival White Sox. “We had a lot of fun, a lot of good games against each other,” Leyland said. … Marlins 3B Matt Dominguez left in the second inning with a right eye contusion after a grounder by Worth took a bad bounce.
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