Tampa Bay at Detroit

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (41-50) «3000130007190
Detroit (48-37)100000101370

Price, Rays escape cellar with win over Tigers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- David Price allowed a homer to start the bottom of the ninth inning -- and that was only the beginning of his problems as he tried to close out a win.

Rain began falling steadily at Comerica Park, a streak of lightning flashed in the sky behind center field and loud thunder claps accompanied the Tampa Bay All-Star's pursuit of a complete game.

"It was crazy. I wasn't really looking up," manager Joe Maddon said. "Just trying to get David through it."

Eventually, Maddon gave in, removing Price with two on and two out. The Rays held on for a 7-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday night to climb out of last place in the AL East.

The Rays have won three straight and eight of nine to move a half-game ahead of defending champion Boston in the standings. Tampa Bay had sole possession of the cellar for 39 consecutive days.

Price (8-7) received his fourth All-Star selection before the game, and he allowed three runs and seven hits before being pulled amid a brief spell of bad weather in the ninth. Jake McGee came on and got the final out for his fifth save in six chances.

Rick Porcello (11-5) allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Matt Joyce and Desmond Jennings homered for Tampa Bay, and Torii Hunter and J.D. Martinez went deep for Detroit. The Rays had 19 hits, including four each by Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez.

Price struck out six and walked three, throwing 107 pitches. Martinez led off the Detroit ninth with a homer, and Price was able to get only two more outs.

Price said he was somewhat fortunate to make it that far.

"I guess I got 26 outs, and I would say at least 15 of them were hit right on the screws. I was asking for some 'at 'em' balls yesterday and I got them," he said. "I don't know if I've ever seen that many hard-hit balls turned into outs off a starter."

The AL Central-leading Tigers put three players on the All-Star team -- Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Max Scherzer. Porcello is a candidate in online voting for the final American League spot.

"Very happy for my teammates that have made the team, and obviously honored to be included in the final vote," Porcello said. "A lot of good pitchers out there."

Porcello was coming off back-to-back shutouts, but his 25-inning scoreless streak ended before he could retire a batter. Jennings led off with a double and scored on Zobrist's single. Then Joyce's drive was ruled a home run after a review -- it hit the railing just above the wall in right field -- to give the Rays a 3-0 lead in the first.

Price went at least eight innings for the fifth time in his last six starts. It was his 15th straight outing of at least 100 pitches.

Price could be a prime trade target for contenders over the next few weeks, although Tampa Bay's recent run means the Rays aren't totally out of postseason contention. Tampa Bay is 8 1/2 games behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East, and the Rays trail Seattle by the same margin for the second wild card.

The Tigers, meanwhile, still lead their division by four games after losing three of four to Tampa Bay.

With Price on the mound, the Rays were in good shape after scoring three runs in the first. In the fifth, Evan Longoria added an RBI single to make it 4-1.

Tampa Bay scored three more in the sixth. With men on first and third and one out, Kevin Kiermaier hit a grounder to second that was nearly a double play, but he beat the relay to first for an RBI fielder's choice.

That made it 5-1 and kept the inning going. Jennings followed with a homer to left-center.

Jennings also made sliding catches in center field in the sixth and seventh.

Hunter led off the seventh with a solo shot, his 11th homer of the year. Detroit might have scored another run that inning on Austin Jackson's line drive to the corner in left. But Eugenio Suarez, trying to score from first, lost his footing on the grass outside the baseline and fell about halfway between third and home, giving the Rays an easy out at the plate.

Notes

The Rays said after the game RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right elbow surgery) is expected back Tuesday. ... Victor Martinez sat out a second straight game with a back issue. ... Tampa Bay LHP Cesar Ramos and wife Melanie celebrated the birth Saturday of Addison Lynn Ramos, their first child. ... Rays SS Yunel Escobar (right shoulder) begins a rehab assignment Monday in the Gulf Coast League. ... Detroit is off Monday. Tampa Bay hosts the Royals. Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-7) takes on Kansas City RHP James Shields (8-4).

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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David Price pitches into the ninth to help the Rays win their third straight and escape last place in the AL East. (USATSI)
David Price pitches into the ninth to help the Rays win their third straight and escape last place in the AL East. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

D. Jennings
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Detroit

T. Hunter
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF5232010 .252
Ben Zobrist, SS5241000 .264
Matt Joyce, LF4122122 .271
Evan Longoria, 3B5011014 .265
James Loney, 1B5030011 .278
Logan Forsythe, 2B5000003 .247
Sean Rodriguez, DH5140000 .246
Jose Molina, C5020015 .184
Kevin Kiermaier, RF5101012 .285
David Price, P0000000 .000
   Jake McGee, P0000000 .000
Totals44719717  
Batting
2B - Desmond Jennings (23, Porcello), Sean Rodriguez (7, Smith)
HR - Desmond Jennings (8, Porcello), Matt Joyce (7, Porcello)
RBI - Desmond Jennings 2 (24), Ben Zobrist (21), Matt Joyce 2 (36), Evan Longoria (40), Kevin Kiermaier (17)
2-OUT RBI - Desmond Jennings 2 (8)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Matt Joyce 1
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
David Price (W,8-7) 8.2733362 3.48
Jake McGee (S,5) 0.1000010 1.16
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 107-76, Jake McGee 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 5-14
Batters Faced - David Price 35, Jake McGee 1
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rajai Davis, LF4120000 .278
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000013 .302
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3001011 .308
J.D. Martinez, DH4111001 .323
Torii Hunter, RF4121000 .267
Nick Castellanos, 3B4000011 .263
Eugenio Suarez, SS3010100 .272
Bryan Holaday, C2000211 .286
Austin Jackson, CF4010034 .244
Rick Porcello, P0000000 .000
   Ian Krol, P0000000 .000
   Chad Smith, P0000000 .000
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
Totals3237337  
Batting
2B - Rajai Davis (13, Price), Austin Jackson (17, Price)
HR - J.D. Martinez (12, Price), Torii Hunter (11, Price)
SF - Miguel Cabrera (6)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (68), J.D. Martinez (38), Torii Hunter (46)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Torii Hunter 1
DP - Cabrera-Suarez-Porcello
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Rick Porcello (L,11-5) 5.21177122 3.53
Ian Krol 0200000 4.32
Chad Smith 1.1200010 4.82
Al Alburquerque 1200020 3.09
Joe Nathan 1200020 5.97
WP - Joe Nathan (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Rick Porcello 95-66, Ian Krol 7-6, Chad Smith 18-10, Al Alburquerque 25-15, Joe Nathan 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick Porcello 10-4, Chad Smith 2-0, Al Alburquerque 1-0
Batters Faced - Rick Porcello 28, Ian Krol 2, Chad Smith 5, Al Alburquerque 5, Joe Nathan 5
Game Information
Attendance - 31917
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Quinn Wolcott, Third Base - Mark Carlson