Porcello impresses in Tigers win

LAKELAND, Fla. - Rick Porcello is continuing to prove himself worthy of the Tigers fifth starting spot in the rotation.

The Tigers right-hander threw four innings in Detroit's 8-5 over the Houston Astros Monday afternoon. He struck out six and allowed three hits.

Porcello is battling with Drew Smyly for the final spot in Detroit's starting five. Throughout the spring, manager Jim Leyland has said Porcello has the upper hand because of experience, but has held back from naming a winner in the race until the end of the team's exhibition games.

The Tigers were led by Alex Avila, who had three RBI, and Torii Hunter, who went 2-4 in the win.