LAKELAND, Fla. -- There's a reason why results during Spring Training have to be taken with a grain of salt.
Ricky Romero's pitching line wasn't pretty in Tuesday afternoon's 6-2 loss to the Tigers. He allowed four runs on five hits over 2 1/3 innings of work, but he also wasn't working with his full repertoire of pitches.
Romero and catcher Jose Molina opted to spend most of the afternoon working on the sinker. Romero threw very few changeups and breaking balls during the start and instead chose to put an emphasis on the pitch the two have been working on during Spring Training.
"Some of them were a little up in the zone," Romero said of his sinkers. "But if you go look back at it, all of those balls were just finding the holes. ... A lot of ground balls, and that's a positive.
"I'm a competitor and I hate giving up runs, but it just happens. The first [spring outing], just get it out of the way and get back to work."
Romero has reached the point in his career where he is able to use the Grapefruit League season as a tuneup for the regular season. He doesn't have to focus as much on the early statistics like he did as a prospect looking to make his mark in the Blue Jays' organization.
"The maturity and mental toughness that I've grown to have in me just kind of gets me through these outings," Romero said. "I know what I had out there, I know that my arm felt good, and I had life on my fastball."