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Tampa Bay at Detroit

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (96-63)100000130571
Detroit (72-86) «10111030x790

Tigers get to Kazmir, delay Rays' AL East title celebration

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Scott Kazmir wanted to be the center of the biggest celebrations in Tampa Bay Rays history. His plans were derailed by two stunning home runs from one of the most unlikely players.

Ramon Santiago connected twice off the Rays ace for his second and third career home runs since 2003 and the Detroit Tigers delayed Tampa Bay's AL East title with a 7-5 victory Thursday afternoon.

"My teammates were saying 'Hey, it's Sammy Sosa!' but I kept telling them no," Santiago said. "It was fun, but I want to keep hitting line drives."

A Rays victory would have clinched the division, and Boston beat Cleveland 6-1 on Thursday night to shave Tampa Bay's division lead to two games.

Ben Zobrist had two home runs and four RBI for Tampa Bay. The Rays have already clinched the first playoff spot in the team's short history, but manager Joe Maddon wants them to go into October as division champs.

"Our goal at the beginning of this year was to win the American League East," Maddon said. "We still want to do that, and we want home-field advantage, because we play so well at the Trop."

Tampa Bay led 1-0 on Zobrist's first-inning home run, but Santiago led off both the bottom half of the first and third innings with drives off Kazmir. It was his first multihomer game since he went deep twice for Detroit against Boston on June 3, 2002.

"I just kept getting into a groove and then falling right back out of it," Kazmir said. "I never felt like I was in my comfort zone, and I wasn't throwing with any conviction."

Kazmir allowed four home runs for the second time in three starts -- the only times he's allowed four in a game in his career.

"I don't know what was happening there," Maddon said. "Normally, guys don't get good swings against Scott on 0-2 pitches, especially guys that don't have much power like Santiago."

The Rays were finishing up a grueling three-day stretch in which they played a doubleheader Tuesday against the Orioles, a night game Wednesday in Baltimore and a day game Thursday in Detroit.

"That was a tough scheduling situation -- four games in three days and a short night last night," Maddon said. "I'm proud of how much energy our guys showed today, but I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep."

The reeling Tigers, headed to their first losing season since Jim Leyland became manager in 2006, won for only the second time in 14 games.

"It wasn't that we had more energy -- we just played a good ballgame," Leyland said. "We hit the ball out of the park, which is unexpected from Santi, and we pitched good."

Rookie Armando Galarraga (13-6) yielded five runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings, and Fernando Rodney finished for his 11th save. Zobrist's home run was the Rays' only hit in the first six innings.

"It felt good to finally get that 13th win and to finish the year with a victory," said Galarraga, who was 0-2 in his previous five starts. "My goal for next year? Win 20."

Evan Longoria hit a home run for the Rays in the seventh, but the Tigers went ahead 7-2 in the bottom half when Curtis Granderson homered.

Zobrist hit a long, three-run homer in the eighth, but the Rays couldn't get anything else.

"That was a heck of a game by Ben -- there can't be too many guys that hit the ball out in straightaway center in this ballpark," Maddon said. "We fell a little short, but we'll be back out here tomorrow."

Notes

  • If the Tigers have to go to Chicago on Monday to make up a rainout against the White Sox, they would start former Chicago pitcher Freddy Garcia. The game would be played only if needed to decide the AL Central race between Minnesota and Chicago.
  • Tigers closer Todd Jones, who announced his retirement Wednesday, held an emotional news conference before the game. Jones, Detroit's career saves leader, is to be honored in a pregame ceremony on Saturday.
  • Tampa Bay's Troy Percival, who is dealing with a knee problem, pitched for the first time in four days and allowed a walk in one inning.
  • The game drew 36,259, raising the Tigers' home season total to a team record 3,081,098, breaking the previous mark of 3,047,139, set last year. Detroit has three home dates left.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Detroit's Ramon Santiago homers twice off Scott Kazmir to help ruin it for Tampa Bay.  (AP)
Detroit's Ramon Santiago homers twice off Scott Kazmir to help ruin it for Tampa Bay. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

R. Santiago
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
 
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF4000012 .270
Ben Zobrist, 2B4224010 .241
Carlos Pena, 1B3000110 .245
Evan Longoria, 3B3111121 .275
Willy Aybar, DH3010101 .255
Dioner Navarro, C4010002 .294
    Jonny Gomes, PR0000000 .174
Gabe Gross, RF4110011 .241
Eric Hinske, LF4110011 .246
Jason Bartlett, SS3000012 .287
Totals3257538  
Batting
HR - Ben Zobrist 2 (10, Galarraga, Galarraga), Evan Longoria (27, Galarraga)
RBI - Ben Zobrist 4 (27), Evan Longoria (85)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist 3 (7)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Longoria-Zobrist-Pena
E - Eric Hinske (3, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
Scott Kazmir (L,12-8) 5644284 3.49
Jason Hammel 1222200 4.66
Chad Bradford 1111001 2.12
Troy Percival 1000100 4.63
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 102-60, Jason Hammel 28-16, Chad Bradford 15-10, Troy Percival 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 3-3, Jason Hammel 2-1, Chad Bradford 1-2
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 22, Jason Hammel 7, Chad Bradford 4, Troy Percival 3
Detroit Tigers
Ramon Santiago, SS4332000 .301
Marcus Thames, DH4120020 .248
Magglio Ordonez, RF3000102 .316
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3001021 .294
Mike Hessman, 3B1111100 .296
   a- Curtis Granderson, PH-CF2111000 .286
Ryan Raburn, 2B3010110 .233
Brandon Inge, CF-3B4000023 .204
Matt Joyce, LF2000202 .258
Dusty Ryan, C4111014 .306
Totals3079658  
a-lined out for Hessman in the 6th
Batting
2B - Marcus Thames (12, Hammel)
HR - Ramon Santiago 2 (3, Kazmir, Kazmir), Mike Hessman (5, Kazmir), Curtis Granderson (21, Bradford), Dusty Ryan (2, Kazmir)
SF - Miguel Cabrera (9)
RBI - Ramon Santiago 2 (16), Miguel Cabrera (126), Mike Hessman (7), Curtis Granderson (62), Dusty Ryan (7)
2-OUT RBI - Curtis Granderson (20)
SB - Brandon Inge (4, 2nd base off Hammel/Navarro)
CS - Matt Joyce (2, 2nd base by Percival/Navarro)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Santiago, Raburn-Santiago-Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
Armando Galarraga (W,13-6) 7.2655253 3.68
Fernando Rodney (S,11) 1.1100130 4.93
Pitches-Strikes - Armando Galarraga 102-64, Fernando Rodney 31-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Armando Galarraga 9-7
Batters Faced - Armando Galarraga 29, Fernando Rodney 6
Game Information
Attendance - 36259
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Ted Barrett