LAKELAND, Fla. -- Andy Dirks' eighth-inning RBI brought the Tigers back from what was once a four-run deficit to salvage their third consecutive tie with a 7-7 draw with the Mets on Monday at Joker Marchant Stadium.
On a day when the Tigers trotted out three of their fifth-starter candidates, the Mets managed to rough up top prospect Jacob Turner, who struggled with command for his second straight outing.
Turner began his outing with a leadoff walk to Lucas Duda in the fourth, but erased it by striking out Vinny Rottino and using his sinker to induce an inning-ending double play from Josh Thole. Ronny Cedeno's leadoff single the next inning, however, set off a string of three straight hits and four consecutive batters reaching safely before Justin Turner hit into a fielder's choice.
Once Turner lost Ike Davis to a one-out walk, he loaded the bases, leaving him no place to put Duda with a 3-0 count. He fired a get-me-over fastball, which Duda drove deep to right for his first home run of the spring.
Turner hit his pitch count one out later, ending his afternoon with five earned runs on four hits and two walks over 1 2/3 innings. It marked his first run damage of the spring, but raised his other totals to six hits and six walks over four innings.
Three doubles off Josh Stinson, including RBIs from Alex Avila and Gerald Laird, brought the Tigers back to within a run in the bottom of the inning. Avila went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and two RBIs.
Avila's sacrifice fly was part of a three-run, four-single third inning, including RBI hits from Miguel Cabrera and Delmon Young.
Up next: Mike Pelfrey will make his second Grapefruit League start Tuesday when the Mets host the Cardinals in a 1:10 ET game at Digital Domain Park. Pelfrey gave up four runs on six hits and two walks against the Marlins on March 8. He lacked command but the results weren't considered significant because he'd been told to focus on throwing his two-seam fastball. Fernando Cabrera, Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Manny Acosta, Garrett Olson, Ramon Ramirez and Bobby Parnell could also see action.