Rays
Tigers
6 - 7 Final
  for this game

Avila's homer in eighth lifts Tigers over Rays

May 25, 2011 - 4:34 AM Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Alex Avila hit a pair of homers, including the go-ahead, two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning, boosting Detroit to a 7-6 win over Tampa Bay.

Avila belted a solo homer to right off Wade Davis in the sixth inning, getting the Tigers within a run. Then in the eighth, Matt Joyce caught Andy Dirks' fly ball tight to the line in right. Jhonny Peralta walked to set up Avila. Cesar Ramos (0-1) came in to replace Joel Peralta and served up Avila's homer over the wall in left.

Miguel Cabrera crushed a three-run homer for the Tigers, who overcame four errors to capture their third win in a row, including the first two of this three-game series.

"It was a good game for us. We really battled hard," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Joyce had three hits, including a two-run homer, but the Rays lost for the fifth time in six contests.

Tigers starter Justin Verlander, who is unbeaten in his last five starts, got off the hook after yielding nine hits and six runs over six frames.

Davis allowed eight hits and five runs -- four earned -- over six innings.

"They just came up with some really big hits when they needed to," Joyce said. "The last week has been a little rough."

Al Alburquerque (1-1) picked up his first major league win. Joaquin Benoit gave up a two-out single to Johnny Damon, but then retired Evan Longoria on a force play at second to end the game to lock down his first save of the year.

Detroit had men on first and second with two outs in the second when B.J. Upton dropped Austin Jackson's soft fly ball to center. That allowed Jhonny Peralta to score the game's first run.

Sean Rodriguez came home on John Jaso's groundout in the top of the third, and the Rays went ahead 3-1 in the next inning on Joyce's homer to right-center field.

Singles from Jackson and Don Kelly set up Cabrera's one-out homer to left, but the Rays scored three times in the sixth for a 6-4 edge. Upton singled in a run. Joyce then came home on an Avila throwing error, and a sacrifice fly from Casey Kotchman made it a two-run difference.

Game Notes

It marked Avila's second two-homer game this month. He hit a pair against the Yankees on May 2, a 5-3 Detroit defeat...The Rays are assured of losing back-to-back road series for the first time since last Sept. 3-8 (at Boston, Baltimore)...The Tigers placed pitcher Phil Coke on the 15-day day disabled list because of a bruised right foot. The Tigers also purchased the contract of pitcher Adam Wilk from Triple-A Toledo...This was the first time all season Verlander gave up more than three earned runs.






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  • Casey Kotchman sacrifice fly out to center scored B.J. Upton. None on with two outs and Sean Rodriguez due up.

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  • B.J. Upton stole second. On the play, Matt Joyce Scores on Alex Avila's throwing error. B.J. Upton advances to third on Scott Sizemore's fielding error. Runner on third with one out and Casey Kotchman at the plate.

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  • B.J. Upton single to right scored Evan Longoria. On the play, Matt Joyce advances to third. Runners on first and third with one out and Casey Kotchman due up.

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