The conditions were far from perfect for Matt Tuiasosopo's first start with the Tigers.

A 17 mile-per-hour wind was carrying everything hit to Tuiasosopo in left field, and he had to face left-hander CC Sabathia, one of the top pitchers in the American League.

Before the game, manager Jim Leyland joked that he gave Tuiasosopo a map and keys and said, "Good luck, buddy."

Tuiasosopo handled everything just fine, appearing unfazed by the wind and finishing 2-for-3 with a walk.

"I just wanted to be aggressive (against Sabathia)," he said. "I just kind of went on how he's attacked me in the past and then just watching game film and was able to get a couple hits out there."

The surprise of spring training, the right-handed Tuiasosopo made the 25-man roster an extra outfielder and earned the start Sunday against the southpaw Sabathia in place of left-handed Andy Dirks.

With the Tigers down 5-0 in the bottom of the eighth and runners on first and third, Leyland left Tuiasosopo in to face right-handed reliever David Robertson with two outs.

"I left him in there that one inning because the ball was going to left and it wasn't going anywhere to right," Leyland said of the at-bat, which ended with a strikeout.

"I was just hoping with two guys on he might run into one; get one up in the wind you've got a three spot."