Travis Failey on April 20, 2017
Rays were 3-0 coming into Wednesday’s nights ball game against the Tigers when Chris Archer has taken the mound this year. They won a paltry 10 out of 33 that he started in 2016 while the Rays offense was matched up against right-hander Jordan Zimmerman. Zimmerman was making his 200th start of his career with a 0-0 record in 2 starts at the Trop.
The Rays and Archer found themselves in a jam in the first as Archer gave up a 1 out triple to right to Nicholas Castellanos with the always dangerous Miguel Cabrera coming to the plate. After running the count full, Cabrera was looking gas and Archer got him swinging on a nasty off speed slider but Rays killer Victor Martinez was up next looking to drive home the opening run of the game. Archer ran the count full again but got Martinez to fly out to right to end the top half of the first but accumulated 24 pitches in the first inning.
The Rays got something going in the bottom half of the first after Corey Dickerson popped one to short right as Kinsler, Collins and Jones watched it fall between them for a double. Kiermaier laid down a perfect bunt down third and the Rays had their own rally going with Evan Longoria stepping to the plate. Longoria hit a short hopper to third that Nick Castellanos had to hold on to as Dickerson scored to put the Rays up 1-0 with runners on first and second.
After a fielder’s choice by Brad Miller and the Rays with runners on first and third, Steven Souza Jr. hit a single to second driving in Kiermaier. Morrison then hit into an inning-ending double play and after one, the Rays led the Tigers 2-0.
After an easy second inning for both clubs, Ian Kinsler singled in the top of the 3rd and stole second. Miguel Cabrera singled him in to cut the Rays lead to 2-1. Edgar Martinez then bounced out to end the inning.
The Rays got something going in the bottom half of the 3rd when after Longoria walked, Brad Miller hit a pop fly that once again fell in between Kinsler, Collins and Jones to put runners on first and second with one out. Steven Souza then struck out and Logan Morrison popped up on the infield to leave both runners stranded.
After a scoreless 4th for the Tigers, The Rays got it going again as Shane Peterson doubled and scored off a Corey Dickerson single. Kiermaier than doubled to put runners on second and third with Longoria coming to the plate. Longoria then crushed a single to score both Kiermaier and Dickerson to put the Rays up 5-1 after 4.
Archer closed out his night in the fifth by giving up 3 runs to the Tigers. Miguel Cabrera drove in Iglesias on a double and then Victor Martinez once again does the damage against the Rays with a line drive single to score Kinsler and Cabrera. Rays 5 and the Tigers 4 after 5.
The lead wouldn’t last long as the Tigers got to the Rays bullpen.
Kevin Kiermaier misplayed a ball in center that was ruled a hit and the Tigers plated 3 in the 6th to go up 7-5. KK laid in center field in disbelief as the ball rolled past him as Kinsler, James McCann and Iglesias scored.
The Ray got one back in the 7th with Keirmeier scoring on a single by Souza Jr. to lessen the Tigers lead to one. The score remained 7-6 going into the bottom of the ninth with Keirmeier, Longoria and Brad Miller to face the Tigers closer in Francisco Rodriguez.
Keirmeier went the distance to draw a walk and Longoria slashed a line drive into right field. Miller was intentionally walked to load-em up with no outs and Souza Jr. at the plate. The fans were on their feet as the Tigers infield was drawn in as Souza went to a full count. Then the fireworks happened at home plate as Souza was called out on a check third strike that was out of the zone. Kevin Cash raced out of the dugout and was quickly tossed from the game with the very due Logan Morrison coming to the plate.
With one out, Morrison tapped a roller to second that looked like a “taylor made” double play to end the game but Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias fell after taking the throw from Kinsler. As he was falling, Iglesias threw the ball past Cabrera and the Rays plated two runs for the walk-off at Tropicana Field. Brad Miller accidently slid into the fallen Iglesias and Iglesias remained down due to Miller’s knee hitting him in the face.
Pitcher Austin Pruitt was the hero for the Rays and he got the win as he pitched 1 hit ball over 3 and a third in relief and the Rays are now .500 on the season with a record of 8-8.
Next up: a quick turnaround back at the Trop at 1:10 with Erasmo Ramirez on the hill for the Rays with Daniel Norris on the mound for the Tigers.