LAKELAND, Fla. -- For the second time in three days, the Mets came to Joker Marchant Stadium with a shorthanded lineup and put up runs. However, the Tigers had a strong offensive showing of their own, culminating with Quintin Berry's walk-off single that gave them a 7-6 victory in 10 innings on Wednesday afternoon.
The Mets jumped out to an early four-run lead, but the Tigers countered with six straight runs -- including Prince Fielder's two-run homer and Delmon Young's two-run single. New York rallied with single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to force the game into extra innings.
Half of starter Max Scherzer's eight outs came by strikeout, including all three outs in his second inning as he mixed a 95-mph fastball with a nasty slider and a sinker with movement. His strikeout of Justin Turner had him poised to strand a runner in the third if he could retire Daniel Murphy, one of the few Mets regulars on the trip.
Scherzer lost Murphy to a walk, but put Zach Lutz in an 0-2 count before getting too far inside on a hit-by-pitch that loaded the bases and put Scherzer near his pitch count. Seeing the opportunity for a test with three consecutive left-handed hitters due up, manager Jim Leyland replaced him with left-hander Casey Crosby, a starting candidate who could also fit as a reliever.
Crosby's first pitch jammed Mike Baxter into hitting a slow ground ball, but it left second baseman Brandon Inge without a play once he finally chased it down. Crosby lost Josh Thole and Adam Loewen to walks, the latter on four pitches, to plate two more runs before Wilmer Flores singled in a run to left field. Young threw out Thole at the plate to end the threat.
Fielder's second homer of the spring, a liner pulled off a hanging pitch from Dillon Gee, cut Detroit's deficit in half before a double error tied the game an inning later. After Miguel Cabrera walked, Fielder sent a ground ball up the middle that left second baseman Jordany Valdespin without a play.
Up came Young, whose line drive to right fell slowly enough to allow pinch-runner Jerad Head to follow Audy Ciriaco around third to push the Tigers ahead.
Despite the win, Leyland wasn't a fan of this game.
"That was an ugly Spring Training game," Leyland said. "No offense to either team."
Up next: Justin Verlander will make his third start of the spring Thursday when the Baltimore Orioles come to Lakeland for a 1 p.m. ET game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Verlander has tossed six scoreless innings on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts so far this spring. Jose Valverde, Collin Balester, Joaquin Benoit and Tyler Stohr are also slated to pitch for Detroit.