VIERA, Fla. - Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny had been mostly effective through 2 2/3 innings before Don Kelly homered to right field to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
WIth two down in the third, Ryan Raburn singled to left before Kelly, a late entry into the lineup because right fielder Magglio Ordonez was scratched, lofted a no-doubt-about-it blast over the wall in right off an 0-1 pitch.
The Tigers have the lead, but Gorzelanny is making another strong pitch to claim the fifth starter's spot in the Nats' rotation. Through three innings, he's allowed three hits, walked one and fanned three.
Gorzelanny got some defensive support in the third when, with one out, Detroit's Casper Wells hit a sharp grounder to third base, where Jerry Hairston Jr. dove to backhand the ball before recovering and firing a strike to first to retire the speedy Wells.
The wind is blowing here at Space Coast Stadium, playing havoc with fly balls and pop-ups. I have a feeling that before the day is done, we're going to have a windblown ball fall fair beyond a fielder's reach. At gametime, winds of 15 mph were reported, though gusts seem substantially higher.
The Nationals wasted an opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the thrid. Alex Cora led off with a bloop single but was picked off. Alberto Gonzalez followed with a single and Nyjer Morgan followed with a single to left that advanced Gonzalez to third, Morgan taking second when Raburn kicked the ball away for an error.
But Rick Ankiel was caught looking for the second time by Justin Verlander and Jayson Werth flew out to left to end the rally. Heading to the fourth, it's Tigers 2, Nationals 0