The Tigers and Rays both wore their Father’s Day baby blues, but neither team seemed in hurry to gift each other any runs for the occasion. The Rays put runners on base in each of the first three innings. However, double plays ended the first two frames, while an unfortunate pickoff of Mallex Smith ended the third. As for the Tigers, aside from a couple baserunners in the first, it was a whole lotta nothing. We had ourselves a good, old fashioned pitchers’ duel.
The Rays finally broke through against Michael Fulmer in the fifth. Colby Rasmus got it started by smacking a one out double to right. After a Tim Beckham walk, Daniel Robertson singled home Rasmus. On the throw home, Beckham rolled into third and Robertson up to second. Unfortunately, a strikeout to Derek Norris and a groundout by Smith ended the threat.
But Archer was unable to get the shutdown inning. Andrew Romine led off with a soft single. Following a strikeout by Mikie Mahtook, Jose Iglesias hit one back to the mound that should have at least gotten the lead runner, if not been a double play. But Archer was unable to field it cleanly, settling for the out at first. Ian Kinsler then doubled, chasing home Romine from second. After a wild pitch, Archer struck out Alex Avila to get out of the jam.
The Rays evidently declined to bat in the sixth, because I got up to get a soda, walked the ten steps into the kitchen and back, and Archer was back on the mound giving up a homer to Miggy Cabrera. 2-1 Tigers.
Things continued to look dicey throughout the sixth, as a booted grounder by Evan Longoria off the bat of J.D. Martinez and a solid single by Alex Presley were sandwiched around a Justin Upton flyout. Another Archer wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out and Romine batting. Archer managed to get the strikeout, then retired Mahtook on a soft grounder to Longo.
The Rays finally got into the soft underbelly of the Detroit pen in the seventh. Fulmer walked Steven Souza Jr. to start the inning. After two productive outs, Robertson singled home Souza on a grounder past Kinsler to tie the game.
A hard single to left by Norris sent Robertson to second and Fulmer to the showers.
Alex Wilson came on for the Tigers, and was greeted by the third straight Rays’ single, this one a dribbler that squeaked into right from Smith to score Daniel Robertson. 3-2 Rays. Wilson finally got the Tigers out of the inning by striking out Corey Dickerson.
Jumbo Diaz came on for the Rays to start to the seventh, closing the book on Archer at two run in six inning of work, with one walk and eight strike outs. It was an interesting but in the end uneventful inning for Jumbo. His slider especially looked sharp, but the results were a little hold-your-breath. Longo made a nice diving stab of an Iglesias grounder, Corey Dickerson ran down a ball to left that seemed intent on carrying further than it should have, and Avila walked after falling behind 0-2. But with Miggy at the plate, Diaz locked it in and struck out Cabrera on three pitches.
Shane Greene came on for the Tigers and recorded a 1-2-3 eighth.
Surprisingly, Jumbo Diaz was back out there for the bottom half of the inning. He struck out J.D. Martinez to lead things off, but hung several sliders during the following at bat before Justin Upton ripped one past Beckham. Upton hustled into second when
Rasmus Dickerson failed to field it cleanly. That brought an end to Diaz’s day, as Cash called on Alex Colome — who hadn’t pitched in six days — to try and record the five-out save.
Colome looked to be overthrowing early in the Presley at bat, but settled down in time to strike him out on a 3-2 cutter. Nicholas Castellanos then pinch hit for Romine and grounded hard to Longoria to end the threat.
Ausmus called on former closer Francisco Rodriguez for the ninth as the Rays tried to tack on. Tim Beckham chopped a one out single through the hole, but they couldn’t manage any further damage. So out came Colome again to try and seal the deal.
Mikie Mahtook hit a slow chopper that Longoria was unable to field to start the inning.
A sacrifice bunt attempt by Iglesias nearly went for a single when Colome had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. The bang-bang play was called safe on the field, but was overturned on review quickly. But still, runner on second, one out.
Kinsler followed, and got a great pitch to hit. Fortunately for the Rays, he just missed it, skying of pop fly to
Rasmus Dickerson in left for the second out.
Avila waived at two sliders below the zone before taking the third in the dirt. On the pitch, Mahtook scampered (scampered I say!) to third, making another slider in the dirt a risky proposition.
Colome came back with a slider anyway, but left it up a bit. Avila hit it hard, but right at a shifted Tim Beckham for the 6-3 putout.
Tomorrow’s Father’s Day game is at 1:10 PM.