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Howell works three strong innings

Howell, Jackson post sound outings

TIGERS (ss) 6, DEVIL RAYS (ss) 0
at Lakeland, Fla.
Sunday, March 18

Devil Rays at the plate: Jorge Valendia had the Rays' only extra-base hit with a sixth-inning double. Rocco Baldelli, Greg Norton and Delmon Young added singles.

Tigers at the plate: Placido Polanco went 2-for-3, scoring the Tigers' first run and driving in the second. Gary Sheffield added a sacrifice fly in the seventh ahead of an RBI groundout from Brennan Boesch.

Devil Rays on the mound: J.P. Howell, continuing his candidacy for the fifth starter's job, retired six of the final seven batters he faced in his three innings of work. Another fifth starter candidate, Edwin Jackson, walked five batters but struck out four in three innings.

Tigers on the mound: Nate Robertson finally stretched out his innings, going five scoreless on two hits with four strikeouts. Jason Grilli followed with two scoreless frames and two strikeouts.

Grapefruit League records: Devil Rays 2-15, Tigers 12-6-1.

Up next: The Tigers will welcome the Reds on Monday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Kenny Rogers will take the mound for Detroit opposite Bronson Arroyo.

The Devil Rays are off on Monday. They'll pick up play Tuesday with a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup with the Indians at Al Lang Field.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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