Thursday marked the beginning of a very pivotal road trip for the Detroit Tigers, 11 games away from Comerica Park that runs into the All-Star break in three tough cities. First stop on the trip is Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, where Detroit went 1-2 against the Tampa Bay Rays a season ago and are just 10-11 since the 2010 season at ‘The Trop’.
Unfortunately, Detroit could not generate offense in the same fashion they did against Miami at home, taking a 7-3 loss to open the series and road trip.
INNINGS 1 – 3
Tampa got the ball rolling in the 1st inning. Logan Forsythe led it off with a double, advancing to third on a fielding error from Steven Moya. He eventually came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Logan Morrison.
Then in the 3rd, Tampa scored four runs all with two outs. After Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann retired the first two batters, the next five Rays reached base. Brandon Guyer got an RBI, singling in Evan Longoria who doubled to begin the two-out rally. Then with the bases loaded, pinch hitter Nick Franklin blooped a double in between two Tigers defenders that cleared the bases, giving Tampa a 5-0 lead.
In that inning alone, Zimmermann had two strikes on five of the eight batters he faced, four of them faced an 0-2 count. He retired just two of them, both via the strikeout.
The Tigers had just two base runners off Tampa starter Jake Odorizzi through the first three innings – a one-out single from Cameron Maybin in the 1st, and a walk to Victor Martinez to lead off the 2nd.
(TB LEADS 5-0)
INNINGS 4 – 6
Not much doing for either team in the 4th and 5th innings. Nick Castellanos got a walk in the 5th inning for Detroit and for Tampa, Forsythe got his second hit of the game in the 4th and Corey Dickerson got a base knock in the 5th.
Detroit finally broke through for some runs in the 6th inning. A walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the frame, followed by a single from Jose Iglesias put two on with nobody out. Then it was Ian Kinsler driving one up the middle to score Salty. That signaled the end for the Rays starter Odorizzi, who was relieved by Matt Andriese.
The next batter, Maybin flew out to right allowing Iglesias to score and make it a 5-2 ball game. Unfortunately the rally was cut short as Miguel Cabrera hit into his ground ball double play of the game, third for the Tigers on the night.
The final line for Odorizzi: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. Zimmermann went 1-2-3 in the home half of the 6th to salvage his start somewhat: 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 3 K.
(TB LEADS 5-2)
INNINGS 7 – 9
Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez relieved Zimmermann in the 7th. A one-out double to Longoria was left stranded in the 7th but Tampa managed to tack on two insurance runs in the 8th inning. An RBI double from Hank Conger and the third hit from Forsythe to drive in a run increased the Rays’ lead to 7-2.
Unfortunately, Detroit could not do anything offensively off of Andriese in his three innings of work. A double off the bat of Iglesias in the 8th inning was the only blemish in his outing on the night.
Buckle up, this is where it gets crazy.
In the 9th down five runs and facing news Rays pitcher Ryan Garton, the first four men reached on singles – Maybin, Cabrera, Martinez, and Castellanos. Martinez’s base hit drove in Maybin to make it 7-3, Nick’s single re-loaded the bases and chased Garton from the game.
In comes Erasmo Ramirez for the Rays. He gave up a single to Justin Upton to make it 7-4. Steven Moya then came up and hit a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Martinez to score and make it 7-5. Saltalamacchia then singled to score Castellanos, making it a 7-6 ball game (Andrew Romine came into pinch run for Salty). Ramirez then walked Iglesias to load the bases and walked Kinsler to tie the game at 7 apiece. Brand. New. Ball game.
The very next batter, Maybin batting for the second time in the inning doubled to left center over the head of the Rays’ Dickerson to empty the bases, giving Detroit a 10-7 lead. All in all, 12 men come to the plate in the top half of the 9th for Detroit.
In the home half now with a lead, closer Francisco Rodriguez allowed a leadoff double to Longoria but then got Morrison to pop out and Guyer to hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the ball game and stun the Rays.
(FINAL SCORE: DET 10, TB 7)
The Tigers 8 runs are the most they've scored in the 9th inning since scoring 13 on August 8, 2001 at Texas.
— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) July 1, 2016
This is first Tigers 5-run comeback in 9th inning since May 28, 1998 vs. CHW. Also entered 9th trailing 7-2 in that game. (h/t @STATS_MLB)
— Austin Drake (@austin_drake) July 1, 2016
- On the other side for the Rays, all seven of their runs scored tonight came with two outs in the inning. Coming into their game vs. the Tigers tonight, 47.1 percent of their runs scored this season came with two outs, the highest mark in Major League Baseball.