Tampa Bay at Detroit

Tampa Bay (42-70)0010001406141
Detroit (63-49) «12201003x9160

Tigers overcome Gomes granny, answer with three-run eighth

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

DETROIT -- Nate Robertson's team won, and that was all the Tigers pitcher cared about.

Detroit's bullpen blew a four-run lead after Robertson departed in the eighth inning and Ryan Raburn scored the go-ahead run in the bottom half to help the Tigers beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 9-6 Tuesday night.

"It is literally a crying shame that Nate Robertson didn't win that game," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "He was absolutely outstanding -- he pitched as well as you can pitch."

Robertson was charged with three runs and nine hits in a season-best 7 2/3 innings. The Tigers led 6-2 when he departed to a standing ovation.

Jason Grilli came in with a runner on first and allowed consecutive singles to load the bases for Jonny Gomes, who hit his second career grand slam to tie it.

Robertson was one of the first players to console Grilli, who pitched to four batters without getting an out.

"No one feels worse than Jason," he said. "He's pitched some great games for us, and he'll do it again. We won the game, and that's all that matters."

Raburn led off the bottom of the eighth with a double, and Dan Wheeler (0-1) hit Craig Monroe with the next pitch. Both runners advanced on Brandon Inge's sacrifice, and Curtis Granderson hit a grounder to second baseman Brendan Harris, who threw late to home.

"My job is to shut down that inning, and I just couldn't execute my pitches," Wheeler said. "The ball felt good coming out of my hand, but I couldn't make it go where I wanted."

Placido Polanco singled in Monroe and Sean Casey's RBI double made it 9-6.

"Nate deserved this game, but at least we won it as a team," Casey said. "We could have folded after that grand slam, but we came right back and got after them."

Magglio Ordonez homered and drove in a pair of runs for the Tigers, who have won two straight following a season-high five-game skid. Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 35 tries.

"We haven't been playing well, and at this level, that will get you beat," Leyland said. "I don't care who you are playing."

Carl Crawford had four hits and Dioner Navarro hit his fourth homer for Tampa Bay, which has lost eight straight road games and 19 of 21 away from home. Jason Hammel remained winless in 13 career starts, giving up five runs and 10 hits with a walk in four innings.

"I made good pitches that they hit, and I made bad pitches that they hit," Hammel said. "That's a good swinging ballclub."

The Tigers scored in four of the first five innings to build a 6-1 lead, but a combination of bad weather and their struggling bullpen hurt them late in the game.

Tampa Bay added a fluky run in the seventh. With one out, Granderson lost Gomes' routine fly ball against a swirling gray sky, and the ball fell behind him for a triple. Robertson got Josh Wilson to pop out, but Navarro lined an RBI single to make it 6-2.

"That was like a roller-coaster," Gomes said. "My homer took us up, and some bloop hits off Wheeler took us right back down."

After Wilson got the fourth straight hit off Grilli, Tim Byrdak (1-0) came into the game and retired Navarro to end the inning. As he left the mound, Grilli was loudly booed by the same fans that had wildly cheered Robertson minutes earlier.

Grilli declined comment after the game, but Leyland stood up for him.

"I'm sure some of those boos were for me," he said. "That's OK. That happens at this level."


  • Raburn has 14 RBI in 17 games this season. "He's a hungry player, and hungry players are dangerous," Leyland said.
  • Neither team took batting practice because of afternoon rains, but the skies cleared about an hour before gametime. Storm clouds blew back in the middle innings, but no precipitation fell.
  • The win was Byrdak's second in 127 career outings.
  • The Devil Rays outrighted reliever Casey Fossum to Triple-A Durham after the game.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Magglio Ordonez has a big day for the Tigers, finishing with a home run, two runs and two RBI.  (AP)
Magglio Ordonez has a big day for the Tigers, finishing with a home run, two runs and two RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game

M. Ordonez
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
Tampa Bay

J. Gomes
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B5000011 .290
Carl Crawford, LF5040000 .310
B.J. Upton, CF5110023 .323
Carlos Pena, 1B5000025 .275
Delmon Young, RF4110021 .292
Brendan Harris, 2B4120010 .300
Jonny Gomes, DH4234010 .266
Josh Wilson, SS4010003 .250
Dioner Navarro, C4122001 .193
3B - Jonny Gomes (1, Robertson)
HR - Jonny Gomes (13, Grilli), Dioner Navarro (4, Robertson)
RBI - Jonny Gomes 4 (33), Dioner Navarro 2 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Jonny Gomes 4 (15), Dioner Navarro (9)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Wilson-Harris-Pena
E - Dioner Navarro (7, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Jason Hammel 41055130 6.09
Juan Salas 2211021 3.09
Dan Wheeler (L,1-5) 1.1433020 5.23
Scott Dohmann 0.2000010 3.60
HBP - Monroe (by Dan Wheeler)
WP - Jason Hammel (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 74-43, Juan Salas 28-20, Dan Wheeler 32-23, Scott Dohmann 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 5-2, Juan Salas 1-3, Dan Wheeler 3-0, Scott Dohmann 1-0
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 21, Juan Salas 8, Dan Wheeler 10, Scott Dohmann 2
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4221111 .300
Placido Polanco, DH5131002 .346
Sean Casey, 1B5022012 .293
Magglio Ordonez, RF5232003 .354
Carlos Guillen, SS5010023 .314
Ivan Rodriguez, C4110013 .280
Ryan Raburn, 2B4232000 .380
Craig Monroe, LF3100013 .220
Brandon Inge, 3B3011020 .241
2B - Curtis Granderson (30, Hammel), Placido Polanco (27, Hammel), Sean Casey (26, Wheeler), Ryan Raburn 2 (5, Hammel, Wheeler)
3B - Brandon Inge (1, Hammel)
HR - Magglio Ordonez (18, Salas)
SH - Brandon Inge (5)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (54), Placido Polanco (49), Sean Casey 2 (43), Magglio Ordonez 2 (94), Ryan Raburn 2 (14), Brandon Inge (51)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Raburn (9), Brandon Inge (16)
CS - Curtis Granderson (1, 2nd base by Hammel/Navarro)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Robertson-Raburn-Casey
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson 7.2933091 4.94
Jason Grilli0433001 5.94
Tim Byrdak (W,1-0) 0.1000000 3.51
Todd Jones (S,30) 1100000 4.56
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 96-71, Jason Grilli 10-6, Tim Byrdak 3-2, Todd Jones 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 9-4, Tim Byrdak 1-0, Todd Jones 2-1
Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 31, Jason Grilli 4, Tim Byrdak 1, Todd Jones 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35288
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg