Tigers
Rays
8 - 6 Final
  for this game

Pinch-hit single by Thames lifts Tigers over Rays

Sep 6, 2009 - 3:54 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.(AP) -- The Detroit Tigers dug themselves out of an early hole for a satisfying victory.

Pinch-hitter Marcus Thames came through with a tiebreaking single during a two-run eighth inning and Alex Avila had a two-run homer to lead the streaking Tigers past the Tampa Bay Rays 8-6 on Saturday night.

Detroit, which overcame a three-run deficit, went ahead 8-6 when Thames hit a bases-loaded single and Adam Everett drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt. The AL Central leaders, who also got a homer from Placido Polanco, have won five in a row.

"That's how you win games in the playoffs," Avila said. "When you get everybody contributing, you can't ask for anything better than that."

Detroit's bullpen was stellar, with six relievers holding the defending AL champions to four hits over 6 2-3 scoreless innings.

"The bullpen kept the wind in our sails," Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "The bullpen gave us confidence."

Detroit used 23 players overall.

"I'm drained," Leyland said.

Evan Longoria hit his 27th homer - matching the total from his AL Rookie of the Year season in 2008 - for the Rays, who have lost seven of 10. Tampa Bay remained six games behind Boston for the wild card.

"That's been too much of the script, that we've been able to play well and then we've given up some stuff late," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "We've had a little bit of a hiccup."

Avila hit a two-run shot and Polanco added an RBI single in the seventh to tie it 6-all.

Bobby Seay (5-2) got two outs for the win and Brandon Lyon worked the ninth for his second save. Rays reliever Grant Balfour (5-4) took the loss.

Longoria had a three-run homer during a four-run first off Armando Galarraga as the Rays took a 4-1 lead.

Carlos Pena became the first Tampa Bay player to have 100 RBIs or more in three seasons with a run-scoring single in a two-run third that made it 6-3. Pena has 23 RBIs over his last 15 games.

Polanco hit a first-inning solo homer before Carlos Guillen pulled Detroit to 4-3 on a two-run triple in the third.

Galarraga, recalled from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day to pitch in place of injured Jarrod Washburn, allowed six runs, four hits and three walks in 2 1-3 innings. Washburn, slowed by a sore left knee, is scheduled to start Thursday at Kansas City.

Leyland expressed concerns about Galarraga's arm slot and planned to talk with pitching coach Rick Knapp about it.

Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman (blood clot), who last pitched in the majors on June 8, gave up one hit, one walk and had two strikeouts in 1 2-3 scoreless innings.

"It just feels good to get out there," Bonderman said. "It's good to be part of it. Get in there and pitch in a little bit and do whatever I can to help these guys get to the playoffs."

James Shields allowed six runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings. The Rays' opening-day starter is winless - including five losses - over his last 10 starts at home, dating to June 4.

With a postgame concert featuring The Beach Boys, the announced crowd was a sellout of 36,973. In comparison, the Rays' three-game series Tuesday through Thursday against Boston averaged 19,221.

NOTES: Leyland visited close friend and Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer, who is recovering after successful surgery for decompression of a nerve in his lower back on Wednesday. Zimmer could be released from the hospital in the next few days. ... Rays CF B.J. Upton (sprained left ankle) might start one game of Monday's doubleheader at the New York Yankees. ... Tigers closer Fernando Rodney, who allowed two runs and threw 35 pitches in the ninth inning of Friday's 4-3 win over the Rays, was rested and might get Sunday off, too. ... Detroit LHP Dontrelle Willis (anxiety disorder) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings for Toledo against Columbus.








  • Rays 6, Tigers 8 - FINAL
    DETROIT ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    C Granderson cf 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 .255
    va-R Raburn ph-cf 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 .271
    P Polanco 2b 5 1 2 2 0 0 2 .275
    C Guillen lf 4 0 1 2 1 1 2 .249
    M Cabrera 1b 4 0 1 0 1 1 2 .338
    A Huff dh 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .243
    D Kelly pr

    Sep 5 10:23 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE HIT BY ADAM EVERETT SCORED CLETE THOMAS
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M THAMES ON SECOND, B INGE ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 8
    TAMPA BAY 6 TOP,8TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: R RABURN (.272, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Tigers 8, Rays 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 5 9:57 PM
  • 43
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Tigers 8, Rays 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 5 9:57 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARCUS THAMES SCORED DON KELLY
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M THAMES ON FIRST, B INGE ON SECOND, M
    ORDONEZ ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 7
    TAMPA BAY 6 TOP,8TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: A EVERETT (.241, 3 HR, 39 RBI)

    Tigers 7, Rays 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 5 9:52 PM
  • 78
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    RUWTbot Took away 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Tigers 7, Rays 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 5 9:52 PM
  • 115
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Tigers 6, Rays 6  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 5 9:46 PM
  • 110
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Tigers 6, Rays 6  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 5 9:19 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PLACIDO POLANCO SCORED WILKIN RAMIREZ
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, P POLANCO ON FIRST, R RABURN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 6
    TAMPA BAY 6 TOP,7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GUILLEN (.250, 1-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Tigers 6, Rays 6  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 5 9:17 PM
  • 38
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    RUWTbot Added 28 roots

    Tigers 6, Rays 6  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 5 9:17 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX AVILA (4) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF JAMES SHIELDS SCORED MAGGLIO ORDONEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 5, TAMPA BAY 6
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: R SANTIAGO (.261, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers 5, Rays 6  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 5 9:05 PM
  • 10
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    FosterGrant Added 5 roots

    Tigers 3, Rays 6  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 5 8:48 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY PAT BURRELL SCORED BEN ZOBRIST
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C PENA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    TAMPA BAY 6 BOTTOM,3RD
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.279, 1-FOR-1, HR, 3 RBI)

    Tigers 3, Rays 6  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 8:02 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS PENA SCORED CARL CRAWFORD
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENA ON FIRST, B ZOBRIST ON THIRD, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    TAMPA BAY 5 BOTTOM,3RD
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: P BURRELL (.238, 0-FOR-0, SF, RBI)

    Tigers 3, Rays 5  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 7:58 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY CARLOS GUILLEN SCORED CURTIS GRANDERSON AND RAMON
    SANTIAGO
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C GUILLEN ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    TAMPA BAY 4 TOP,3RD
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: M CABRERA (.338, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers 3, Rays 4  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 5 7:49 PM
  • 5
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    thefanblog Added 5 roots

    Tigers 1, Rays 4  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 5 7:37 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY EVAN LONGORIA (27) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF ARMANDO GALARRAGA SCORED CARLOS PENA AND BEN
    ZOBRIST.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1, TAMPA BAY 4
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.298, 1 HR, 19 RBI)

    Tigers 1, Rays 4  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 5 7:28 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY PAT BURRELL SCORED JASON BARTLETT
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENA ON FIRST, B ZOBRIST ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM,1ST
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.277, 26 HR, 96 RBI)

    Tigers 1, Rays 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 5 7:27 PM


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


    CURRENT PITCHERS: DET - ARMANDO GALARRAGA
    TAM - JAMES SHIELDS

    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J BARTLETT (.335, 12 HR, 59 RBI)
    C CRAWFORD (.306, 13 HR, 61 RBI)
    B ZOBRIST (.283, 23 HR, 72 RBI

    Tigers 1, Rays 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 5 7:13 PM