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Detroit at Tampa Bay

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Detroit (70-58) «000000200280
Tampa Bay (69-58)0010000001110

Tigers 2, Rays 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Detroit Tigers were facing a potentially long night with a short-handed bullpen against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Starter Brad Penny wouldn't let that be an issue. He pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Alex Avila had an RBI single and the Tigers beat the Rays 2-1 on Tuesday night.

"You know you're running into a buzzsaw with that [Tampa Bay] pitching staff, but we pitched pretty good, too," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Brad got in some trouble, but he pitched his way out of it."

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Penny (9-9) gave up one run and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He had gone 1-3 with a 6.99 ERA in his previous five starts.

Phil Coke allowed two doubles, two intentional walks and struck out five over the final two innings for his first save. Leyland stuck to his plan of giving eighth-inning setup man Joaquin Benoit and closer Jose Valverde the night off.

After Johnny Damon hit two-out double and Evan Longoria was intentionally walked in the ninth, both advanced one base on Coke's wild pitch. Ben Zobrist then hit three foul balls on 3-2 pitches before grounding out to end the game.

"That was awesome," Coke said. "I'm just glad I got him out. That was a battle, and it was fun. I enjoyed myself."

David Price (11-11) allowed two runs and six hits in eight innings. The Tampa Bay left-hander was coming off consecutive road wins against the New York Yankees and Boston in which the AL All-Star was touched for one run and nine hits in a combined 16 innings.

"They've got a good team," Price said. "They're in the playoff hunt right now so they're feeling good about themselves."

The game started after a 20-minute delay because of a weather-related problem with the lights at Tropicana Field. The Rays say thunderstorms in the area affected a power line running into the domed stadium, which caused the problem.

Detroit scored twice in the seventh, ending Price's scoreless streak at 18 consecutive innings, and took a 2-1 lead on Avila's RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Jhonny Peralta.

Avila, who hit a two-run homer in Monday night's 5-2 win over the Rays, has 15 RBI in 19 games this month.

Zobrist put the Rays ahead 1-0 on a third-inning RBI double. He has 42 doubles this season.

"Overall, this is the kind of game when if you're going to the playoffs, you win, and when you're not, you don't," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "We've got to start winning these games to go the playoffs. You have to win 2-1, 1-0, 3-2 games to win championships."

Penny gave up hits in five of his first six innings, but was able to limit the damage. The right-hander left with one out in the seventh after walking pinch hitter John Jaso.

Daniel Schlereth, who replaced Penny, got one out before giving up a single to Desmond Jennings and walking Damon to load the bases. Ryan Perry worked out of the jam by getting a fly ball to center from Longoria.

"Perry got a huge out, that's good to see," Leyland said. "Maybe that's a confidence builder for him."

Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, a late scratch Monday because of lower back spasms, had a double in four at-bats.

Notes

Tampa Bay CF B.J. Upton, who sprained his right shoulder Monday, struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. ... Tigers RHP Al Alburquerque (concussion) could be re-evaluated later this week. ... Detroit RHP Max Scherzer (13-7) will face Rays RHP Wade Davis (8-7) in the third game of the four-game set Wednesday night. ... Rays RHP Alex Cobb, who underwent surgery last Thursday to remove a blockage in the area of his first right rib, was back at the ballpark. The rookie is thinking about keeping the pinkie size rib that was removed during the procedure in his locker. "I think it's a good thought and it's a reminder," Maddon said. "But I do not need to see it."

 
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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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Detroit

A. Avila
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF4000021 .243
Magglio Ordonez, RF3010000 .230
    Don Kelly, RF1000010 .234
Delmon Young, LF4010001 .271
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3110101 .321
Victor Martinez, DH4110001 .323
Alex Avila, C4021001 .304
Jhonny Peralta, SS3011001 .315
Ryan Raburn, 2B2000111 .233
    Ramon Santiago, 2B0000000 .246
Brandon Inge, 3B4010025 .182
Totals3228226  
Batting
2B - Victor Martinez (27, Price), Alex Avila (25, Farnsworth)
SF - Jhonny Peralta (5)
RBI - Alex Avila (62), Jhonny Peralta (68)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Raburn-Peralta-Cabrera
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brad Penny (W,9-9) 6.1811120 4.82
Daniel Schlereth (H,5) 0.1100110 4.23
Ryan Perry (H,2) 0.1000000 6.29
Phil Coke (S,1) 2200250 4.36
IBB - S. Rodriguez by Phil Coke, by Longoria
WP - Phil Coke (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Penny 101-55, Daniel Schlereth 14-8, Ryan Perry 4-2, Phil Coke 51-32
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Penny 7-8, Phil Coke 1-0
Batters Faced - Brad Penny 26, Daniel Schlereth 3, Ryan Perry 1, Phil Coke 10
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF5030011 .330
Johnny Damon, DH4010103 .268
Evan Longoria, 3B4000105 .231
Ben Zobrist, RF5021022 .287
Matt Joyce, LF4010013 .279
Casey Kotchman, 1B4010012 .326
Sean Rodriguez, 2B3010100 .213
Kelly Shoppach, C2000002 .179
   a- John Jaso, PH-C1000112 .221
Reid Brignac, SS2120000 .194
   b- B.J. Upton, PH1000011 .225
    Elliot Johnson, SS0000000 .181
   c- Sam Fuld, PH1000010 .239
Totals36111148  
a-walked for Shoppach in the 7th
b-struck out for Brignac in the 7th
c-struck out for Johnson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Johnny Damon (24, Coke), Ben Zobrist (42, Penny), Casey Kotchman (23, Coke)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (73)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist (27)
CS - Desmond Jennings (5, 2nd base by Penny/Avila)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - S. Rodriguez-Brignac-Kotchman, Brignac-S. Rodriguez-Kotchman
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
David Price (L,11-11) 8622260 3.53
Kyle Farnsworth 1200000 1.80
IBB - Raburn by David Price
HBP - Santiago (by Kyle Farnsworth)
WP - David Price (2)
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 116-73, Kyle Farnsworth 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 8-8, Kyle Farnsworth 1-2
Batters Faced - David Price 30, Kyle Farnsworth 6
Game Information
Attendance - 11475
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Ed Rapuano