Pearce breaks out of slump in hometown of Lakeland

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) World Series MVP Steve Pearce needed a trip home to find his swing.

The Lakeland High School product ended an 0-for-12 spring training start with two homers as the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers tied 4-4 on Thursday.

""It just feels good to finally get a rhythm,"" Pearce said. ""For my first couple games, the timing just wasn"t there. I was kind of clueless at the plate. But now the last couple days it"s starting to feel a lot better.""

Pearce was given a Lakeland Dreadnaughts jersey with his number 5 on it by a fan. Pearce said the last time he probably homered in his hometown was in high school.

""Look in the stands and I"ll see people I haven"t seen in 15 years,"" Pearce said. ""That"s pretty cool.""

Notes: Slugger J.D. Martinez did not make the trip after being scratched from Wednesday"s game because of minor back tightness.


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