LAKELAND -- Two Marlins left-handers got back to work Monday after long lay-offs -- and both were pleased with their efforts in a 3-3, 10-inning tie against the Tigers.
Mark Buehrle, who skipped his last start, made his third start in Grapefruit League action and gave up all three runs to Detroit on home runs. The first two runs came on his first three pitches -- a single by Austin Jackson followed by a two-run home run by Brennan Boesch to right. Jhonny Peralta then hit a solo home run on the first pitch in the fourth to left.
But Buehrle, who turned 33 on Friday, was still pleased with his six-inning, six-hit effort, which featured five strikeouts and no walks. He threw just 71 pitches in all.
"Very surprised he's had the spring he's having -- he's always had an ugly spring," Guillen said of Buehrle who has given up 10 earned runs over 12 1/3 innings (7.30 ERA). "But he's throwing the ball very well. I'm very happy where he is. I'm very pleased with the pitching staff."
Left-handed specialist Randy Choate pitched a scoreless inning of relief, his first appearance in Grapefruit League action this spring since straining his right lat in camp. Choate's only mistake was leaving a fastball up to Boesch, who doubled to centerfield in the eighth. Choate retired the other three hitters he faced on ground balls.
"Didn't really get the fastball where I wanted in on Boesch, but other than my side felt great, elbow feels good," said Choate, whose 2011 season ended prematurely with a small tear in his throwing elbow. "I was a little too amped up, almost throwing with too much sink. But I did get [three] ground balls.
"It's good to be back."