NOAH TRISTER,AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Matt Joyce hit a sacrifice fly to break a scoreless tie in the ninth inning, and Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings each drove in another run to lift the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.READ MORE: CDC: New Listeria Outbreak Tied To 23 Illnesses, 1 Death
Longoria added an RBI single later in the ninth off Doug Fister (5-3), who pitched well again for the Tigers but got no offensive support. Jennings made it 3-0 with a run-scoring triple.
Alex Cobb allowed five hits in 7 2-3 scoreless innings for Tampa Bay, and Joel Peralta (1-2) struck out Prince Fielder with two on to end the eighth.
Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 17 chances.
Fister allowed three runs and seven hits in 8 1-3 innings.
In both the sixth and the eighth innings, the Rays intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera with a runner on second and two out. Fielder struck out to end the inning both times.
Sam Fuld started the ninth with a bunt single, eluding Fielder’s tag and diving into first base. Fuld went to third on Ben Zobrist’s single, and Joyce was able to drive in the game’s first run, with Zobrist advancing to second on the throw to the plate.
Longoria’s single made it 2-0 and chased Fister, and Jennings added another insurance run with his drive to right-center field off Drew Smyly.
Fister pitched seven scoreless innings in his previous start against Pittsburgh, but the Tigers were shut out in that game, too. This time it was Cobb who matched zeros with the Detroit right-hander for most of the night.READ MORE: Red Wings Hire Lightning Assistant Derek Lalonde As Coach
Hitting rallies were few and far between, especially after both teams wasted good chances to score in the third.
The Rays had men on first and third with one out when Fielder made a diving stop on Fuld’s grounder. Fielder threw home to Alex Avila, catching Jose Lobaton in a rundown. Avila ran Lobaton back to third before tagging him and Yunel Escobar, who was trying to come all the way around from first.
Both runners were called out, and the unusual double play ended that threat. But the Tigers couldn’t capitalize on their own first-and-third, one-out situation in the bottom of the inning. Avisail Garcia was caught trying to steal second, and Andy Dirks grounded out.
Cobb was terrific for Tampa Bay, and the Rays avoided pitching to Cabrera in crucial spots. Coming into the game, Fielder was 8 of 9 with a walk and 10 RBIs in his previous 10 plate appearances following walks by Cabrera — but he didn’t deliver on this night.
Fielder did extend his hitting streak to 10 games with a fourth-inning single, and he ended the Tampa Bay seventh with an unassisted double play when he caught James Loney’s line drive and doubled Longoria off first.
The Tigers could barely hit the ball out of the infield early on against Cobb, who has allowed more than three earned runs only once in 11 starts this year.
Cobb was pitching for the first time since May 26. The right-hander missed a start because of a cut finger on his throwing hand.
Rays left fielder Kelly Johnson was a late scratch because of back tightness.
NOTES: Rays manager Joe Maddon said ace David Price (strained left triceps) might be ready to throw off a mound around the time the team returns home for a series with Baltimore that starts Friday. … Detroit RHP Max Scherzer (7-0) will take the mound Thursday against Tampa Bay RHP Roberto Hernandez (3-5) in the finale of this three-game series.MORE NEWS: Troubling Arsenic Levels Found At Some Detroit Demolition Sites
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