ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WWJ/AP) - Drew Smyly pitched five innings allowing three runs but the Detroit Tigers outpower the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Sunday afternoon.
As heard on 97.1 The Ticket – the Tigers take the series as Jose Valverde closes out the game to help the Tigers win their third of four games against the Rays.
Prince Fielder and Austin Jackson drove in runs to help the Detroit Tigers pull away from a sixth-inning tie to beat the Rays.
Left-hander Smyly (3-3) got his first win since May 25. The rookie walked one and struck out four.
Five different players drove in runs for the Tigers, who beat the struggling Rays for the third time in four days. Tampa Bay, which didn’t have a hit until the fifth inning, has dropped six of its last seven games.
Jackson snapped a 3-all tie with a RBI single off Alex Cobb (3-5). Fielder, voted as the starting first baseman for the AL All-Star team, singled off Jake McGee to make it 5-3 after the Tampa Bay reliever walked All-Star Miguel Cabrera intentionally with a runner on second base.
Ryan Raburn had a RBI single for Detroit in the fourth. Delmon Young and Alex Avila delivered sacrifice flies in the fifth off Cobb, who allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.
The Rays led 1-0 despite not having a hit through three innings. Desmond Jennings drew a leadoff walk in the first, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on B.J. Upton’s sacrifice fly. The Tigers tied it in the fourth on Raburn’s RBI single, but wasted an opportunity to take control of the game.
Cobb kept the Rays in the game by regrouping after Raburn’s hit to work out of a bases-loaded jam, getting Don Kelly to hit into a force play at the plate, striking out Ramon Santiago and coaxing Jackson to ground into a force. The Tampa Bay starter wasn’t as fortunate when the Tigers loaded the bases with no outs again in the fifth.
Young’s sacrifice fly snapped a 1-1 tie and Avila’s made it 3-1.
The Rays finally broke through against Smyly for two runs in the fifth. Ben Zobrist doubled down the left-field line for the first hit off the left-hander and scored on Hideki Matsui’s one-out single. Molina followed with his run-scoring double for a short-lived 3-3 tie.
Four Detroit relievers combined to limited the Rays to two hits over four scoreless innings. Jose Valverde worked a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 18 opportunities.
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