Tampa Bay at Detroit

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (38-50)100000000120
Detroit (48-34) «51010100x8150

Tigers' Scherzer torments Rays, picks up 10th win

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DETROIT -- Max Scherzer could have probably pitched one more inning after breezing through the first eight.

Detroit's powerful offense made that unnecessary.

Scherzer allowed two hits and struck out seven, and the Tigers backed their star right-hander with three early homers in an 8-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.

With a big lead and Scherzer's pitch count in triple digits, manager Brad Ausmus decided to go to the bullpen for the ninth inning, instead of sending his starter back to the mound for three more outs.

''I had it in me to be able to do it, and I had an extra day [of rest] coming up this next time,'' Scherzer said. ''But given the context of the game, it wasn't the right decision for me to go back out there. It's an 8-1 game. I've got my work in.''

Scherzer retired 23 of the last 24 hitters he faced, and Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter all homered as part of a five-run first inning for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who have won 12 of 14.

Tampa Bay's five-game winning streak came to an end.

Detroit leads second-place Kansas City by five games.

Scherzer (10-3) allowed a first-inning sacrifice fly by Evan Longoria, but that was the first of 10 straight hitters retired by the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner. After allowing a single in the fourth, Scherzer retired another 13 in a row before he was pulled with a pitch count of 106. There would be no talking the manager into another inning. Ausmus met Scherzer in the dugout and shook his hand.

''He was done. I was just confirming to him that he was done,'' Ausmus said. ''It didn't really matter what he said. That was going to be the end for him. There was no reason to send him back out at that point.''

Erik Bedard (4-6) allowed six runs and eight hits with two walks in two innings.

Miguel Cabrera had two doubles, a single, a walk and four runs for Detroit.

The Rays are still at the bottom of the AL East, and the improved starting pitching that fueled their recent run was nowhere to be seen Thursday. After a leadoff single by Austin Jackson in the first, Kinsler homered to put the Tigers ahead. Cabrera's walk was followed by Martinez's 21st home run.

Hunter added a solo shot with one out to make it 5-1.

It was Martinez's first game back after he missed three with soreness in his side.

Cabrera doubled in the second and scored on J.D. Martinez's single. He also scored on a single by Hunter in the fourth.

Scherzer, coming off a 13-strikeout performance against Houston in his previous start, fanned seven with a walk, and the Detroit defense played well behind him.

Nick Castellanos made a diving catch in the third when Desmond Jennings hit a line drive to the third baseman's left. Then Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez jumped high in the air to snag a liner by Ben Zobrist.

The first seven spots of Tampa Bay's batting order, listed by position, went CF-SS-LF-3B-1B-DH-RF -- or 8-6-7-5-3-0-9. Rays manager Joe Maddon called it a ''Tommy Tutone lineup'' before the game, in reference to that band's early-80s hit 867-5309/Jenny.

Maddon may have scored points with pop music fans of a certain age, but he couldn't have enjoyed watching his hitters scuffle against Scherzer. James Loney's single in the fourth was the only baserunner the Rays managed after the first inning.

''We had some good at-bats,'' Maddon said. ''I thought we played well today, but we just got ourselves in a hole, and that let him be more aggressive.''

Scherzer has only one complete game in his career -- a shutout of the Chicago White Sox less than a month ago.

Notes

The Tigers sent substitute Don Kelly to the on-deck circle in the fourth instead of Castellanos. Ausmus said Castellanos was in the bathroom, and Detroit wanted someone in the on-deck circle if there was a play at the plate - to signal to the runner whether to slide. ... Scherzer has reached 10 wins every year since the Tigers traded for him before the 2010 season. ... Detroit LHP Drew Smyly (4-7) faces Tampa Bay RHP Alex Cobb (3-6) on Friday night.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Max Scherzer has little issue against the Rays. Detroit's ace yields just two hits in eight dominant innings. (USATSI)
Max Scherzer has little issue against the Rays. Detroit's ace yields just two hits in eight dominant innings. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 4
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Detroit

M. Scherzer
IP 8.0
H 2
ER 1
BB 1
K 7
 

Related Video

December 22, 2014
Saints at Buccaneers Preview (3:06)
December 22, 2014
Lions at Packers Preview
(2:52)
November 5, 2014
La Canfora previews Dolphins at Lions
(3:27)
December 23, 2014
Jim Rome: Dez Bryant's contract
(3:09)
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF4110020 .241
Ben Zobrist, SS4000001 .250
Matt Joyce, LF3000110 .268
Evan Longoria, 3B2001000 .261
James Loney, 1B3010001 .280
Vince Belnome, DH3000021 .000
Kevin Kiermaier, RF3000010 .290
Ryan Hanigan, C3000010 .223
Cole Figueroa, 2B3000010 .150
Erik Bedard, P0000000 .000
   Cesar Ramos, P0000000 .000
   Kirby Yates, P0000000 .000
Totals2812118  
Batting
2B - Desmond Jennings (20, Scherzer)
SF - Evan Longoria (3)
RBI - Evan Longoria (38)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - Longoria-Figueroa-Loney, Longoria-Figueroa-Loney-Zobrist-Figueroa-Loney
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Erik Bedard (L,4-6) 2866203 4.82
Cesar Ramos 3.1622030 4.18
Kirby Yates 2.2100020 2.19
Pitches-Strikes - Erik Bedard 53-32, Cesar Ramos 53-36, Kirby Yates 39-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Bedard 1-4, Cesar Ramos 4-3, Kirby Yates 2-3
Batters Faced - Erik Bedard 15, Cesar Ramos 16, Kirby Yates 8
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF5120001 .247
Ian Kinsler, 2B5112021 .306
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4430100 .316
Victor Martinez, DH3122101 .327
J.D. Martinez, LF4022000 .320
Torii Hunter, RF4122003 .260
Nick Castellanos, 3B4020012 .271
Alex Avila, C4010012 .230
Eugenio Suarez, SS4000013 .280
Max Scherzer, P0000000 .000
   Chad Smith, P0000000 .000
Totals37815825  
Batting
2B - Miguel Cabrera 2 (32, Bedard)
HR - Ian Kinsler (11, Bedard), Victor Martinez (21, Bedard), Torii Hunter (10, Bedard)
RBI - Ian Kinsler 2 (45), Victor Martinez 2 (54), J.D. Martinez 2 (36), Torii Hunter 2 (44)
2-OUT RBI - J.D. Martinez (15), Torii Hunter (18)
Team LOB - 7
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Max Scherzer (W,10-3) 8211170 3.47
Chad Smith 1000010 5.68
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 106-75, Chad Smith 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 5-12
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 27, Chad Smith 3
Game Information
Attendance - 33908
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Quinn Wolcott, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Greg Gibson