DETROIT (AP) – Matthew Boyd’s first win of the season came with some help from both the bat and arm of Leonys Martin.
Boyd allowed one run in six innings, and Martin drove in the winning run and threw a runner out at the plate as the Detroit Tigers edged the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Tuesday night. Martin hit a tiebreaking double in the fifth, and his big defensive play came in the fourth, when it looked like the Rays had a big inning brewing.
“Props to Leo, man,” Boyd said. “That guy doesn’t take a play off. He was ready, threw a great throw, and James (McCann) was ready to put the tag on him.”
Boyd (1-2) began this season with three straight outings of at least six innings with one run allowed, but he took a loss and two no-decisions. Against Tampa Bay, he allowed seven hits and a walk and struck out seven, and his teammates provided just enough support.
Chris Archer (2-2) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six.
Three relievers held the Rays scoreless. Shane Greene, who allowed a pair of ninth-inning homers in a loss to Tampa Bay on Monday, worked a perfect ninth a night later for his fifth save in seven chances.
Tampa Bay (13-15) lost for only the second time in 11 games. The Rays still haven’t been at .500 since they were 1-1.
Detroit went ahead on Nicholas Castellanos’ RBI double in the third, and Tampa Bay tied it in the fifth on a run-scoring grounder by Matt Duffy.
The Rays wasted an opportunity in the fourth. Rob Refsnyder singled up the middle, and Tampa Bay could have had the bases loaded with one out. But Wilson Ramos was sent by third base coach Matt Quatraro and was thrown out at home by Martin on a play that wasn’t even close enough for Ramos to bother sliding.
“Matt’s been tremendous for us all year, and I’m always OK with being overly aggressive,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “We had a lefty coming up, and Boyd is really tough on them, so he tried to put some pressure on the defense and make them execute the play.”
Martin didn’t rush the throw.
“I knew he was a slow runner, so I didn’t expect he’s going to send that guy,” Martin said.
It was the 14th one-run game for the Rays this year, the most in the majors. Tampa Bay is only 5-9 in those games.
This was only the sixth time in Tampa Bay’s 28 games that the Rays never led.
Detroit’s starting pitchers entered the game with the fifth-lowest ERA in the American League, and Boyd’s performance lowered it to 3.80.
Archer surpassed 1,000 innings, becoming the third player to throw that many for Tampa Bay after James Shields and David Price.
“That means a lot to me, especially doing it right at five years,” Archer said. “I’ve always had a lot of pride in taking the ball every five days and going out there and giving my team a chance to win. Getting to a thousand innings shows that I’ve been pretty successful at it. Five days from now, I’m going to try to do the same thing.”
Tampa Bay received a pair of pitching prospects from Arizona as players to be named in the February deal involving Steven Souza Jr.: right-hander Sam McWilliams and left-hander Colin Poche.
“I’ll be long gone by the time they get here,” Rays manager Kevin Cash joked. “Talented pitchers — one reliever, one starter.”
Rays: Tampa Bay put RHP Yonny Chirinos on the 10-day DL because of a right forearm strain and recalled LHP Ryan Yarbrough from Triple-A Durham.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera missed his third game of the season and second in a row. He hasn’t played since leaving Sunday’s game at Baltimore because of a left biceps spasm.
Tampa Bay LHP Blake Snell (4-1) takes on Detroit RHP Michael Fulmer (1-2) in the series finale Wednesday. Snell has won four straight starts.
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