Rays come up short in Detroit

Andy Dirks made the Rays pay with a leadoff home run in the top of the fifth, tying it up with a single swing of the bat.

Johnny Damon led off the top of the sixth with a double for an instant scoring threat.

He stayed at second through the next three outs, one of eight men left on base by the Rays.

Hellickson found himself in some hot water in the bottom half of the frame but escaped with only a single run against. The few mistakes he made in this game should have been easily balanced out with decent hitting by the Rays lineup.

Ultimately, the missed opportunities are what did the Rays in.

Well, that and the four-spot the Tigers put up in the bottom of the eighth against the Tampa Bay bullpen.

The Rays got a bit o’ the ol’ clutch hitting in the top of the ninth but came up short. Sam Fuld picked up a two-out, two-RBI base hit to score John Jaso and Matt Joyce, making it 6-3.

Not enough.

Had the Rays capitalized on their opportunities, this was a different game.

Despite their performance of late—3-7 in their last 10 outings—the Rays still find themselves in a virtual tie with the New York Yankees for first place in the A.L. East.

Tampa Bay will get another hack at Detroit with Wade Davis (4-4, 3.47 ERA) on the hill against Justin Verlander (4-3, 2.96). That one is scheduled for a 7:05 start.

click to enlarge Stock photo - Kevin Tall
Kevin Tall
Stock photo

Stock photo

Gather ye RBI while ye may,
With scoring changes for the choosing.
Leave ‘em loaded and rue the day,
This game you will be losing.

The lack of fire in the bats of the Tampa Bay Rays proved to be their undoing Monday night in Detroit, as they fell 6-3 to the Tigers.

Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson put in a performance worthy of a win, yielding only two runs on four hits over more than six innings pitched.

Had the boys brought their bats to the Motor City, J.P. Howell might have come on in relief looking to hold a lead instead of holding off further damage by Detroit batters.

Tampa Bay scored first on a Joe Maddon hallmark: small ball and aggressive base running. After walking to lead off the fourth inning, B.J. Upton stole second base and advanced to third on a base hit by Johnny Damon. Evan Longoria’s sacrifice fly to center made it 1-0 Rays.

Ben Zobrist got aboard with a bunt single; Detroit starter Phil Coke was injured on the play, bringing in Charlie Furbush (no snickering, please) for his major league debut in relief. He walked Sean Rodriguez to load the bags with no outs.

Felipe Lopez struck out swinging, as did Kelly Shoppach.

So much for that, eh?

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