The Rays disappointing June record of 12-15 was a result of poor hitting, poor pitching, and bad defense. The calendar may of flipped to July but the Rays woes continued as the Tigers defeated the Rays 5-3 to take 3 out of 4 games at Tropicana Field for the second time in the past two seasons. Alex Cobb (3-5) worked the first 5.1 innings and allowed 5R/4ER on 8 hits while striking out 3 and walking 2. Jake McGee, Wade Davis, and Fernando Rodney worked the final 3.2 innings.
Drew Smyly (3-3) held the Rays hitless through the first 4 innings before allowing 3 runs in the fifth. On the afternoon he worked 5 innings allowing 3R/3ER on 3 hits while striking out 4 and walking 1. Brayan Villareal, Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit, and Jose Valverde held the Rays scoreless over the last 4 innings.
The Rays have now lost 6 of their last 7 games, 9 of their last 12, and since their high point of 11 games over .500 on May 4th have a record of 22-30. The loss drops the Rays to 41-38 on the year and paired with the Yankees victory over the White Sox are now 7.5 games out of first in the AL East.
Game highlights after the jump:
The Rays jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the1st. Desmond Jennings walked to lead off the game and stole second base before advancing to third on a wild pitch. He came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of B.J. Upton.
The Tigers tied the game at 1-1in the 4th inning. Prince Fielder led off the inning by driving a single by Sean Rodriguez and advance to 2nd on a double play ball that was booted by 3b Brooks Conrad. Consecutive singles by Alex Avila and Ryan Raburn tied the game at 1-1. Cobb was able to limit the damage to 1-run by getting a groundball of the bat of Don Kelly to 1b Jeff Keppinger who threw home for the force out, struck out Ramon Santiago, and retired Austin Jackson on a groundout to shortstop.
The Tigers continued to pressure Alex Cobb in the 5th inning and took a 3-1 lead. Quentin Berry led off the inning with a walk and advanced to 3rd on a Miguel Cabrera single. Cobb hit Prince Fielder to load the bases with nobody out. Quentin Berry and Miguel Cabrera came around to score on back to back sacrifice flies by Delmon Young and Alex Avila.
The Rays got their first hit of the afternoon in the bottom of the 5th inning and tied the game at 3-3. Ben Zobrist led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a groundout to 2b,and scored on a single by Hideki Matsui. Jose Molina followed with a fly ball to right field that Don Kelly dove for but was unable to make the grab. The ball went towards the wall and Hideki Matsui was able to score from first and Jose Molina checked in at second with a double.
The Tigers jumped back ahead 5-3 in the top of the 6th.Don Kelly led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ramon Santiago and came around to score on an Austin Jackson single. Alex Cobb's afternoon was finished and Jake McGee came in to strike out Quentin Berry but he also uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Austin Jackson to advance to third and led to an intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera. Prince Fielder made the Rays pay by driving a single up the middle to score Austin Jackson.