So I don’t know about you all, but this new version of the Rays, what with all the hits and the power and the swagger and the winning, are a lot more fun to watch! In fact, coming into Friday’s game, the Rays led the league in home runs!
That swagger kept right on rolling Friday as the long road trip brought them to Comerica Park to take on the Detroit Tigers.
Kickstart My Heart
The Motley Crue hit is the best way to describe the start of this one by Steven Souza Jr.
Moved up to the leadoff spot, Souza Jr. wasted no time setting the pace for the rest of the Rays’ lineup. Tigers’ starter Anibal Sanchez left an 0-1 curveball up high and Souza Jr. laced it into the bullpen in leftfield for an early 1-0 lead.
That first inning kept right on rolling, after a walk to Brad Miller and a couple of fly outs, Corey Dickerson hit a 1-2 cue shot up the third base line for a double, plating Miller and extending the lead to 2-0. A Desmond Jennings infield single would move Dickerson to third for Logan Morrison, who earned himself a base knock to plate the Rays’ DH, 3-0 Tampa Bay.
The Outlaw on the Run
After allowing the Tigers to tie the game on a balk and a two-run shot by Miguel Cabrera, Kevin Kiermaier found himself due up with the bases loaded and two men out.
He wasted no time at all. Kiermaier drilled the first pitch he saw up the right field line and all the way to the corner where JD Martinez had to chase it down and fire it home in an attempt to stop the bleeding. After Longoria and Pierce had scored, Morrison was motoring around third and headed to the plate. Martinez’s throw was off-line and LoMo slid in style to put the Rays back up by three, 6-3 Tampa Bay.
The triple was the first of Kiermaier’s season, after hitting 12 in 2015.
Nails in the Coffin
The Tigers did their part to make the game interesting late, scoring one run in the bottom of the sixth with a bases loaded single that Erasmo Ramirez was able to keep them to as he worked out of the jam.
Cabrera continued doing exactly what Miguel Cabrera does, hitting the cover off of baseballs, as he smashed a solo shot to center, his second of the game, making it a 6-5 ball game.
Enter the Lakeland Launcher.
Leading off the top of the eighth, Steve Pierce got a 2-0 fastball up in the zone that he absolutely demolished, sending it deep into the seats in left, giving the Rays a two-run cushion once again, 7-5 good guys.
That would be where the score would stay heading into the bottom of the ninth, as Alex Colome once again took the hill to close out the night. Despite getting a routine groundball off the bat of Jose Iglesias, Brad Miller’s second error of the game allowed the Tigers’ shortstop to reach base. Colome stayed cool and got both Ian Kinsler and JD Martinez to strike out swinging.
That brought Miggy to the plate once more. Instead of going yard for the hat trick, Cabrera earned himself a base knock, getting the speedy Iglesias to third with two away. After lifting the slugging first baseman for pinch runner Aaron Romine, Victor Martinez took to the batters’ box. Unfazed, Colome went right after the veteran hitter. Martinez grounded right back to Brad Miller who, this time, made the play to first for the final out, locking down the victory, Tampa Bay’s fourth in a row and finally putting them on the right side of .500.
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