FORT MYERS, Fla. – In a matchup of two of the American League’s top young pitchers, neither Max Scherzer nor Clay Buchholz had his best stuff Friday.

But Scherzer was a bit better, allowing two runs and two hits while pitching into the fifth and the Detroit Tigers beat a Boston Red Sox split squad, 8-3.

Scherzer allowed three walks and struck out two.

“He didn’t have good command but he was all right,” Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said.” Behind too many hitters, I’m sure he’d tell you that. But he threw the ball well, made some good pitches, just was behind too much. But he’ll get that going. I’m not worried about that.”

Buchholz went four innings, giving up three runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks with one strikeout.

“I struggled with command with every pitch,” Buchholz said. “I could never get comfortable on the mound. Trying to make adjustments with my release point and went to both ends of the spectrum. Definitely not one of my best outings. Faced a little bit of adversity with runners on in just about every inning. You learn from it. Still spring. Have a couple more outings and I’ll go from there.”

Buchholz threw 76 pitches, 42 for strikes.

“I thought he fought his command a little bit right from the beginning,” Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said. “But he increased his workload by about 20 pitches, which is good. He’s got two more starts. I just think he didn’t command as good as he normally will.”

Ryan Raburn of Detroit went 1 for 4 with a three-run home run of Hideki Okajima. Brennan Boesch had a solo homer off Buchholz, and Andy Dirks had a two-run homer off Brandon Duckworth. All three Detroit players are competing for a spot in the outfield.

 

Ryan Kalish went 2 for 3 with a walk, a run and two stolen bases for Boston. He leads the team with five stolen bases.

Evan Longoria and Manny Ramirez hit consecutive home runs off Tim Wakefield as Tampa Bay beat a Red Sox split squad 7-3 at Port Charlotte, Fla.

Kelly Shoppach and Ben Zobrist also connected as the Rays built a 6-0 lead after three innings against Wakefield, who gave up seven hits.

Tampa Bay starter Andy Sonnanstine dodged trouble for the first four innings before Boston got to him for three runs in the fifth.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out before Carl Crawford pushed the first run across with a walk. Kyle Farnsworth relieved Sonnanstine, but walked J.D. Drew and allowed another run to score on a wild pitch to Jed Lowrie.

 

MARINERS: Seattle is dedicating its first six home games to raising money for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.

The club will make a donation to the Red Cross that matches all contributions from front-office employees and fans during the homestand against Cleveland and Toronto on April 8-13 at Safeco Field. The Mariners guaranteed a donation of $100,000 from the club’s charitable arm, Mariners Care.

 

SCOT SHIELDS retired after a 10-year career with Los Angeles spent mostly as the primary setup man during the team’s period of dominance in the AL West.

Shields, 35, was a free agent after two injury-plagued seasons. He retired as only the third player with at least 10 seasons to spend his entire career with the Angels.

 

YANKEES: Left fielder Brett Gardner left the game against Toronto after being thrown out trying to score from second on a third-inning single.

Gardner fouled a ball off his right shin, bruising it, in Thursday night’s game, and wasn’t running at full speed.

 

DODGERS: Third baseman Casey Blake might start the season on the disabled list after hurting his back while trying to beat out a bunt.

 

PIRATES: Pittsburgh claimed left-hander Garrett Olson off waivers from Seattle.

Right-hander Brad Lincoln was hit in his pitching arm by a line drive and left the game with a bruise.

 

METS: New York released second baseman Luis Castillo despite still owing him $6 million.

Outfielder Carlos Beltran received a cortisone shot in his left knee, which has been inflamed because of tendinitis.

 

ASTROS: Brett Myers will start Houston’s opener in Philadelphia against his former team.

 

INDIANS: Outfielder Grady Sizemore passed another important test on his recovery from knee surgery by sliding.