Some pitchers duels are really fun and exciting. Some ... are not. And lemme tell you, this one was not entertaining nor charismatic. It was dull. But thankfully, it was only a pitchers duel for eight and two-thirds innings. The Rays blew it open at that point, eventually burying the Tigers 7-0 and securing a series victory.
We're half an hour away from our final game vs the Tigers this season pic.twitter.com/okaShX7wSK— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 7, 2022
In 1899, Ernest Rutherford demonstrated that there were at least two distinct types of radiation, which he called alpha and beta rays.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 7, 2022
In 2022, the Detroit Tigers look to split a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. pic.twitter.com/WgsI9VC6NR
Matt Manning worked through three hitless innings, allowing just a couple of walks. But the Rays mounted the first scoring chance of the day in the fourth, with a pair of two out singles from Parades and Raley. Unfortunately, Mejia was unable to cash in the chance, popping out to second.
Rasmussen cruised through the first three, retiring the first eight before Baddoo reached on a Paredes error. Baddoo was then erased trying to steal when Yu Chang JasonBartlett’d him at second, denying him access to the bag.
The Tigers have had one baserunner so far today. This was his fate pic.twitter.com/mU94OYHUzM— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 7, 2022
But that was it for Drew, who was pulled for a “baseball decision” — in what appeared to be a load management move. Three virtually perfect innings, with two strikeouts.
Enter Jalen Beeks, who promptly gave up a double to Greene on the first pitch. Greene moved to third on a Casto groundout. But with the infield in, Javy Baez chopped to Chang, who cut down Greene at the plate.
Randy then robbed Harold Castro at the wall to keep the Tigers off the board.
The most casual home run robbery you ever did see pic.twitter.com/scw5LnbW5e— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 7, 2022
Brooks Raley worked two scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, giving up just a two out double to Clemens in the fifth.
Fairbanks pitched a scoreless seventh and looked sharp doing so. He did give up a one out single to Harold Castro, but he also dotted up Baez on 100 at the knees and fanned Schoop on 100 up in the zone. Nice to see Pete looking like Pete.
Alex Lange got the eighth for the Tigers. In his seven innings, Manning gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked three. Lange followed with a (stop me if you’ve heard this) scoreless inning.
The Rays called on Colin Poche in the bottom of the eighth. Victor Reyes pinch hit for Clemens, and tried to bunt his way on. Diaz barehanded the ball cleanly, but his throw was high. Thankfully, as luck (and psychics) would have it, the earth had juuuuuuust enough gravity to get Choi back down to the bag in time.
Poche fanned Cameron and Haase to finish the inning.
Finally, the promised ninth inning rally. With Gregory Soto pitching, the rally started innocuously enough, when Paredes dumped a one-out 0-2 single to right. After a Bethancourt lineout to center, Mejia doubled up the right field line. Soto’s command started to wobble, as Siri jumped ahead in the count 3-0. He then watched a couple of strikes to make it a full count, before finally drawing the free pass to load the bases for Yu Chang. Chang also worked a full count before taking a fastball down-and-in for ball four and the always exciting RBBI.
Patience is a virtue even if you have to be patient all the way to two outs in the 9th. pic.twitter.com/cItYG4eZze— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 7, 2022
Next was Diaz, who walked on five pitches.
Jason Foley took over for Soto. On the plus side for the Tigers, he threw strikes! On the down side, the Rays hit those strikes hard. It started when Brandon Lowe grounded a 1-2 slider up the middle for a single.
Randy followed by driving a 1-1 middle-middle sinker to right for a double.
Roman Quinn had the finisher. ripping a 1-2, middle-middle sinker to center.
Shawn Armstrong pitched a clean bottom of the ninth to secure the shutout.
The Rays are off tomorrow before kicking off a series in Milwaukee against the Brewers.