Rays
Tigers
4 - 6 Final
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Sheffield homers twice in return as Tigers down Rays

Sep 27, 2008 - 6:00 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- Gary Sheffield and the Detroit Tigers made the Tampa Bay Rays wait to celebrate.

Sheffield homered twice to move within one blast of 500 for his career as the Tigers posted a 6-4 victory Friday over the Rays, who clinched their first American League East title despite a second straight loss.

It was a grand return to the lineup for Sheffield, who was suspended four games on Monday for his role in a bench-clearing brawl with the Cleveland Indians last week.

The temperamental slugger capped a three-run first inning with a solo shot and hit career home run No. 499 in the eighth off Grant Balfour to give the Tigers some breathing room.

"It's good to be back," Sheffield said. "I took some extra swings in the cage before the game, but none during the suspension."

As for No. 500?

"It wasn't something I thought about," he said. "I didn't try to rush things and let the game come to me."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland joked about trying to give Sheffield more at-bats to reach the milestone.

"It will be exciting, but I don't like to think too much about it," Leyland said. "Should I lead him off to get him an extra at-bat?"

While Sheffield is known for his power, Ramon Santiago is not.

Still, Santiago hit his third home run in two games and Magglio Ordonez added a two-run double for Detroit, which won for the third time in 15 games and denied Tampa Bay a chance to clinch its first AL East title.

B.J. Upton homered and drove in two runs for the Rays (96-64), who secured the division crown later in the night when the Boston Red Sox (94-66) lost to the New York Yankees.

That contest, which featured a rain delay, ended nearly three hours after this one. Many Tampa Bay players left the clubhouse to watch the New York-Boston game at the team's hotel.

The Rays admitted they would have liked to have won the division on their own merit.

"We were definitely disappointed. It would have been nice to win it on the field," first baseman Carlos Pena said.

Manager Joe Maddon, however, said he would be "ecstatic" if the Rays backed in with a loss by the Red Sox. He wound up getting his wish.

But prior to that, the Tigers roughed up Andy Sonnanstine (13-9) early.

Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco each walked to begin the game and scored on a double by Ordonez. Two batters later, Sheffield blasted his 18th homer of the season for a 3-0 lead.

"A little erratic at the start, and by the time I got things straightened out, it was too late," Sonnanstine said.

Santiago, who hit a pair of home runs in Thursday's win, belted a two-run shot in the second to stretch the lead to 5-0.

Still, the Rays did not go down without a fight. Upton drove in a run with a groundout in the third and Pena's RBI single in the fifth made it 5-2.

Tampa Bay cut the deficit to two in the seventh thanks to a solo homer by Upton but left the bases loaded in the eighth when Pena flied out to center field. Sheffield's second blast made it 6-4.

Fernando Rodney allowed an unearned run in the ninth before getting Jason Bartlett to fly out to right field with runners on the corners, nailing down his 12th save in 18 chances.

Justin Verlander (11-17) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings with eight strikeouts and three walks. Verlander labored, throwing 113 pitches.

"He was in and out too much," Leyland said. "There were good signs ... He had a nasty breaking ball."

Meanwhile, Sonnanstine was reached for five runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 4 12 0
    DETROIT 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 6 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - ANDY SONNANSTINE, DAVID PRICE (6TH), GRANT BALFOUR (7TH) AND
    DIONER NAVARRO
    DET - JUSTIN VERLANDER, BOBBY SEAY (6TH), GARY GLOVER
    (8TH), CLAY RAPADA (8TH), F

    Sep 26 10:13 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MIGUEL CABRERA ALLOWED ROCCO BALDELLI TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W AYBAR ON FIRST, J GOMES ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    DETROIT 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B ZOBRIST (.239, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 4, Tigers 6  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 26 10:09 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GARY SHEFFIELD (19) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF GRANT BALFOUR.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3, DETROIT 6
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: M JOYCE (.258, 12 HR, 33 RBI)

    Rays 3, Tigers 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 26 9:55 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY B.J. UPTON (9) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF BOBBY SEAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3, DETROIT 5
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.246, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Rays 3, Tigers 5  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 26 9:11 PM
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    roots
    RUWTbot Added 36 roots

    Rays 2, Tigers 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 26 8:41 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS PENA SCORED B.J. UPTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    DETROIT 5 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.273, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays 2, Tigers 5  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 26 8:36 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY B.J. UPTON SCORED JASON BARTLETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B UPTON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    DETROIT 5 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.245, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 1, Tigers 5  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 26 8:01 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GARY SHEFFIELD (18) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF ANDY SONNANSTINE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0, DETROIT 3
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: M THAMES (.248, 25 HR, 56 RBI)

    Rays 0, Tigers 3  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 26 7:30 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MAGGLIO ORDONEZ SCORED CURTIS GRANDERSON AND
    PLACIDO POLANCO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M ORDONEZ ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    DETROIT 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: M CABRERA (.294, 36 HR, 126 RBI)

    Rays 0, Tigers 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 26 7:27 PM
  • 10
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    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. TigersSep 26 7:14 PM
  • 5
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. TigersSep 26 6:30 PM