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Detroit at Tampa Bay

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Detroit (74-61) «1020003208110
Tampa Bay (72-63)402000000680

Thames' tiebreaking single in eighth propels Tigers past Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Detroit Tigers dug themselves out of an early hole for a satisfying victory.

Pinch-hitter Marcus Thames came through with a tiebreaking single during a two-run eighth inning and Alex Avila had a two-run homer to lead the streaking Tigers past the Tampa Bay Rays 8-6 on Saturday night.

Detroit, which overcame a three-run deficit, went ahead 8-6 when Thames hit a bases-loaded single and Adam Everett drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt. The AL Central leaders, who also got a homer from Placido Polanco, have won five in a row.

"That's how you win games in the playoffs," Avila said. "When you get everybody contributing, you can't ask for anything better than that."

Detroit's bullpen was stellar, with six relievers holding the defending AL champions to four hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

"The bullpen kept the wind in our sails," Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "The bullpen gave us confidence."

Detroit used 23 players overall.

"I'm drained," Leyland said.

Evan Longoria hit his 27th homer -- matching the total from his AL Rookie of the Year season in 2008 -- for the Rays, who have lost seven of 10. Tampa Bay remained six games behind Boston for the wild card.

"That's been too much of the script, that we've been able to play well and then we've given up some stuff late," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "We've had a little bit of a hiccup."

Avila hit a two-run shot and Polanco added an RBI single in the seventh to tie it 6-all.

Bobby Seay (5-2) got two outs for the win and Brandon Lyon worked the ninth for his second save. Rays reliever Grant Balfour (5-4) took the loss.

Longoria had a three-run homer during a four-run first off Armando Galarraga as the Rays took a 4-1 lead.

Carlos Pena became the first Tampa Bay player to have 100 RBI or more in three seasons with a run-scoring single in a two-run third that made it 6-3. Pena has 23 RBI over his last 15 games.

Polanco hit a first-inning solo homer before Carlos Guillen pulled Detroit to 4-3 on a two-run triple in the third.

Galarraga, recalled from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day to pitch in place of injured Jarrod Washburn, allowed six runs, four hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings. Washburn, slowed by a sore left knee, is scheduled to start Thursday at Kansas City.

Leyland expressed concerns about Galarraga's arm slot and planned to talk with pitching coach Rick Knapp about it.

Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman (blood clot), who last pitched in the majors on June 8, gave up one hit, one walk and had two strikeouts in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

"It just feels good to get out there," Bonderman said. "It's good to be part of it. Get in there and pitch in a little bit and do whatever I can to help these guys get to the playoffs."

James Shields allowed six runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. The Rays' opening day starter is winless -- including five losses -- over his last 10 starts at home, dating to June 4.

With a postgame concert featuring The Beach Boys, the announced crowd was a sellout of 36,973. In comparison, the Rays' three-game series Tuesday through Thursday against Boston averaged 19,221.

Notes

  • Leyland visited close friend and Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer, who is recovering after successful surgery for decompression of a nerve in his lower back on Wednesday. Zimmer could be released from the hospital in the next few days.
  • Rays CF B.J. Upton (sprained left ankle) might start one game of Monday's doubleheader at the New York Yankees.
  • Tigers closer Fernando Rodney, who allowed two runs and threw 35 pitches in the ninth inning of Friday's 4-3 win over the Rays, was rested and might get Sunday off, too.
  • Detroit LHP Dontrelle Willis (anxiety disorder) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings for Toledo against Columbus.
 
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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Catcher Gerald Laird greets reliever Brandon Lyon after Lyon locks up his second save.  (AP)
Catcher Gerald Laird greets reliever Brandon Lyon after Lyon locks up his second save. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

E. Longoria
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Detroit

A. Avila
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF2100100 .255
   a- Ryan Raburn, PH-CF1000102 .271
Placido Polanco, 2B5122002 .275
Carlos Guillen, LF4012111 .249
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4010112 .338
Aubrey Huff, DH4000002 .243
    Don Kelly, PR-DH0100000 .250
Magglio Ordonez, RF3120100 .282
    Clete Thomas, PR-RF0100000 .246
Brandon Inge, 3B4010012 .233
Alex Avila, C3112011 .310
   b- Marcus Thames, PH1011000 .247
    Gerald Laird, C0000000 .220
Ramon Santiago, SS3120010 .264
    Wilkin Ramirez, PR0100000 .286
    Adam Everett, SS0001000 .241
Totals34811855  
a-walked for Granderson in the 7th
b-singled for Avila in the 8th
Batting
2B - Magglio Ordonez (18, Shields), Ramon Santiago (6, Shields)
3B - Carlos Guillen (2, Shields)
HR - Placido Polanco (10, Shields), Alex Avila (4, Shields)
SH - Adam Everett (12)
RBI - Placido Polanco 2 (63), Carlos Guillen 2 (32), Alex Avila 2 (11), Marcus Thames (31), Adam Everett (40)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Guillen 2 (12)
SB - Don Kelly (1, 2nd base off Springer/Zaun)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Inge-Polanco-Cabrera, Inge-Polanco-Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
Armando Galarraga 2.1466311 5.36
Eddie Bonine 1.2100010 6.32
Fu-Te Ni 0.2000110 3.24
Jeremy Bonderman 1.2100120 9.53
Bobby Seay (W,5-2) 0.2000000 3.25
Zach Miner (H,5) 1200000 4.46
Brandon Lyon (S,2) 1000010 2.95
HBP - Crawford (by Bobby Seay)
Pitches-Strikes - Armando Galarraga 54-28, Eddie Bonine 17-12, Fu-Te Ni 12-5, Jeremy Bonderman 21-11, Bobby Seay 10-5, Zach Miner 12-6, Brandon Lyon 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Armando Galarraga 3-3, Eddie Bonine 3-0, Jeremy Bonderman 1-1, Zach Miner 1-1, Brandon Lyon 1-1
Batters Faced - Armando Galarraga 14, Eddie Bonine 5, Fu-Te Ni 3, Jeremy Bonderman 6, Bobby Seay 3, Zach Miner 4, Brandon Lyon 3
Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS4110111 .334
Carl Crawford, LF2100210 .305
Ben Zobrist, RF3210103 .283
Carlos Pena, 1B3111113 .229
Pat Burrell, DH2012011 .239
Evan Longoria, 3B4123011 .279
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4010002 .297
Gregg Zaun, C4000002 .262
Fernando Perez, CF3010011 .333
   a- Willy Aybar, PH1000000 .251
Totals3068656  
a-grounded out for Perez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Akinori Iwamura (14, Bonine)
HR - Evan Longoria (27, Galarraga)
SF - Pat Burrell 2 (3)
RBI - Carlos Pena (100), Pat Burrell 2 (57), Evan Longoria 3 (99)
2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria 3 (36)
SB - Ben Zobrist (16, 2nd base off Bonderman/Avila)
CS - Fernando Perez (2, 2nd base by Bonderman/Avila)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Longoria-Pena, Iwamura-Bartlett-Pena, Bartlett-Iwamura-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields 6.1866152 4.02
Randy Choate0000100 4.15
Grant Balfour (BS,4; L,5-4) 1111100 4.62
Russ Springer0111100 3.71
J.P. Howell0100000 2.83
Dan Wheeler 1.2000100 3.40
IBB - Ordonez by Russ Springer
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 96-62, Randy Choate 9-5, Grant Balfour 17-10, Russ Springer 5-1, J.P. Howell 6-3, Dan Wheeler 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 6-7, Grant Balfour 2-0, Dan Wheeler 2-2
Batters Faced - James Shields 27, Randy Choate 1, Grant Balfour 4, Russ Springer 2, J.P. Howell 1, Dan Wheeler 5
Game Information
Attendance - 36973
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Mike Reilly