Game 40: Detroit Tigers 5 Rays 4 — Postgame News and Notes
Updated 9 p.m. The Rays (20–20) saw their four-game win streak end on Saturday, and lost Kevin Kiermaier to a broke left hand. Detroit (20–22) beat the Rays 5–4 as the Tigers broke a 1–1 tie with a four-run rally in the seventh.
Rays starter Drew Smyly began the seventh at 98 pitches, and remained in to face the bottom part of the Tigers order in a 1–1 game. Cameron Maybin hit an opposite-field ground single into right to leadoff the frame. It made Maybin 3-for-3 on the day, and 11-for-16 since coming off the DL. James McCann, hitting .127 entering the day, but with a homer off Smyly last year, then homered to left-center for a 3–1 advantage. McCann was Smyly’s batter mate at the University of Arkansas. Later in the inning, reliever Steve Geltz walked Ian Kinsler in front of a J.D. Martinez homer to right, capping the four-run rally.
The Rays did rally in the eighth against reliever Justin Wilson, making it a game again. With one out, Curt Casali walked, Brandon Guyer singled, and Brad Miller tripled home two runs to right-center, making it 5–3. Evan Longoria then struck out, but Miller scored to make it 5–4 and Longoria reached on a wild pitch on the play. Wilson did get Steve Pearce to fly to the warning track in right and Corey Dickerson to strike out, keeping the Rays behind by a run.
After Xavier Cedeno fanned the side in the eighth for the Rays, keeping his team within a run. Francisco Rodriguez did walk Logan Morrison with one out in the ninth. However, Rodriguez struck out Desmond Jennings and Curt Casali to end the game and earn his 12th save in 13 chances.
That made a winner out of Michael Fulmer, the key piece acquired from the Mets in the Yoenis Cespedes trade last summer. Fulmer struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings. He walked one and gave up just four hits.
Smyly took the loss, but that loss was not as great as the injury to Kiermaier. With a runner at first in the fifth, Kiermaier dove for a McCann blooper, and Kiermaier was injured on the dive. The Platinum Glove center fielder from a year ago departed immediately. An examination revealed two fractures in metacarpal bones in the left hand for Kiermaier. He will be flying home Sunday, and will see specialist Dr. Douglas Carlan in St Petersburg on Monday. Mikie Mahtook, hitting .333 for Durham, will be recalled to replace Kiermaier on Sunday.
In that inning Smyly was able to keep the game at 1–0 Detroit. With runners at first and second and none out, the catcher Casali picked Maybin off second after Jose Iglesias missed on a bunt attempt, short-circuiting the rally, as the Rays remained within a run.
The next inning Longoria homered into the left field bullpen with two out off Fulmer tying the game at one. It was Longoria’s eighth homer this year, and the 500th extra-base hit of his career, as he become the first player in franchise history to reach that milestone.
The Rays had a good chance to score in the first inning as Guyer doubled to left to start the frame. Guyer moved to third on a Miller flyout, but Longoria struck out, as did Dickerson after Pearce walked to put runners at the corners. Longoria also struck out to end the third after Miller had doubled with two out.
Meanwhile, Smyly retired his first six batters as he faced the organization that originally drafted him. However, Maybin homered to left to start the third, giving Detroit a 1–0 lead.
The Rays look to win the series with Detroit on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. as Chris Archer starts opposite Jordan Zimmerman. Coverage on the Rays Radio Network begins at 11:30 a.m. with This Week in Rays Baseball as Alex Cobb will be among the guests. The pregame show begins at 12:30 and Dave and Andy will again have the call.