The Tigers’ rally came up just short Friday night, as they dropped the first game of a three-game set against the Tampa Rays, 7-5.
Jose Iglesias reached base on an error by Rays shortstop Brad Miller, before Miguel Cabrera advanced him to third on a single with two outs. Victor Martinez grounded out to Miller to end the game.
The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for the Tigers.
Cameron Maybin continued his hot start for the Tigers, going 3-for-4, and improving his batting average to .615 (8-for-13) since being activated from the disabled list on Monday.
Cabrera was 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs.
Aníbal Sanchez went six-plus innings for the Tigers, allowing five runs on six hits, while striking out four and walking two.
Matt Andriese went 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits while striking out three and walking two.
The Tigers continue the weekend set tomorrow. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m.
Top 9th: Lowe blanks Rays
The Tigers held the Rays scoreless, after allowing a long home run in the eighth. Mark Lowe’s one-out walk of Steven Souza Jr. was the only blemish in the top of the ninth for the Tigers. He struck out Brad Miller and Evan Longoria in order to get out of the inning. Going to the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers trail 7-5.
Bottom 8th: Tigers don't score
Justin Upton started the bottom of the eighth with a single for the Tigers, which was their only offense of the inning. Cameron Maybin grounded into a force play, retiring Upton, before being erased on a inning-ending double play off the bat of James McCann. After eight, the Tigers are down 7-5.
Top 8th: Rays get run back
Alex Wilson, pitching the eighth inning for the Tigers, allowed a run on a long homer to left field by Steve Pearce. Two batters later, he issued a two-out walk to Logan Morrison. Kevin Kiermaier grounded into a force play to end the half inning, but after six and a half the Rays have a 7-5 lead.
Bottom 7th: Cabrera blasts moon shot
Miguel Cabrera showed in the bottom of the seventh that he’s still a power hitter. With two outs, he crushed a 2-1 pitch from Erasmo Ramirez off the camera well in center field — an estimated 431 feet — making it 6-5. The next batter, Victor Martinez, singled, but Nick Castellanos grounded into a force play to end the inning. After seven, the Tigers are down 6-5.
Top 7th: Tigers hold Rays scoreless
The Tigers bullpen went back to work in the seventh. Drew VerHagen, who replaced Kyle Ryan to start the inning for the Tigers, hit leadoff hitter Steven Souza Jr. on the right hand. Souza was thrown out by James McCann on a pitch in the dirt, after straying too far off the bag at first. Brad Miller grounded out to shortstop Jose Iglesias for the second out. Evan Longoria flew out to end the inning. After six and a half, the Rays lead 6-4.
Bottom 6th: Tigers load bases, score 1
The Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the sixth. Victor Martinez singled to lead off the half inning. After Nick Castellanos grounded into a fielder’s choice and Justin Upton walked, the Tigers had runners at first and second with one out. Cameron Maybin hit his third single of the night, and James McCann singled in Castellanos, making it 6-4. Jose Iglesias grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play, ending the threat. After six, the Tigers trail 6-4.
Top 6th: Rays score 3, retake lead
The third time through the order continued to be a problem for Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who was lifted after allowing a single to Evan Longoria and a walk to Steve Pearce, with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Kyle Ryan replaced him, and struck out Corey Dickerson. He got Desmond Jennings to ground out, advancing the runners to second and third. But that is where things went downhill for the Tigers. Ryan walked Logan Morrison to load the bases before Kevin Kiermaier cleared them with a 3-run triple. After five and a half, the Tigers trail the Rays, 6-3.
Bottom 5th: Tigers go in order
The Tigers went down in order, for the first time of the night, in the bottom of the fifth, against Rays starter Matt Andriese. With two outs, Miguel Cabrera hit a long fly ball to center field, but it was caught by Kevin Kiermaier at the warning track to end the inning. After five, the game is tied at 3.
Top 5th: Sanchez rolls
Starting his third time through the Rays' order -- a period of games he's struggled in of late -- Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez cruised, retiring No. 9 hitter Hank Conger, before rolling over to the top of the order and setting down leadoff hitter Steven Souza Jr. for the first time and getting Brad Miller to ground out to third baseman Nick Castellanos. After four and a half, the Tigers and Rays are knotted up, 3-3.
Bottom 4th: Maybin continues hot start
Tigers centerfielder Cameron Maybin is off to a hot start in his return to Detroit. After his single in the fourth, he is 7-for-11 (.636) since coming off the disabled list on Monday. Maybin stole second, and advanced to third on a sacrifice fly from James McCann. However, Maybin was stranded there to end the inning. After four, the game is tied, 3-3.
Top 4th: Rays go 1-2-3 again
For the second straight inning, Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez set the Rays down in order. The right-hander looks to be dealing, after getting out to a rough start. Steven Souza Jr., who is 2-for-2, will bat second in the top of the fifth. He has a single and a home run off Sanchez so far. After three and a half, the Tigers and Rays are tied 3-3.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers tie game
Ian Kinsler singled to start the bottom of the third for the Tigers, extending his hitting streak to nine games. J.D. Martinez moved him up, after grounding out to Rays shortstop Brad Miller, on a fielder’s choice that should have been a double play -- nobody was covering second base. The next batter, Miguel Cabrera hit a 2-run homer over the wall in right field, tying the game. Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos flew out to end the inning, but after three the game is tied, 3-3.
Top 3rd: Sanchez sets Rays down 1-2-3
Anibal Sanchez has -- to this point -- turned things around against the Rays. After allowing three runs in the first, and allowing only one hit since -- to Steven Souza Jr. in the second inning -- Sanchez has gotten into a rhythm. He set the Rays down in order in the top of the third, getting Corey Dickerson to strike out, ending the half inning -- Sanchez's forth strikeout of the game. After two and a half, the Tigers remain down 3-1.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers chip away
The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the second, after Justin Upton scored on a balk from Rays starter Matt Andriese. Upton walked with one out, and advanced to third on a single from Cameron Maybin. James McCann grounded out to shortstop Brad Miller. Jose Iglesias flew out to end the inning. The Tigers are down 3-1 after two.
Top 2nd: Sanchez settles in
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez settled in, striking out Hank Conger to start the second inning. After Steven Souza Jr. singled, he was thrown out by Tigers catcher James McCann trying to steal second. Brad Miller struck out to end the half inning for the Rays, however they lead 3-0 after two and a half.
Bottom 1st: Tigers strand Cabrera
After Rays starter Matt Andriese set Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez down to start the bottom of the first, Miguel Cabrera kept the Tigers alive, reaching on an error by Rays shortstop Brad Miller with two outs. However, Victor Martinez flew out to end the inning, keeping the Tigers off the board. After one, the Tigers trail 3-0.
Top 1st: Rays score three early runs
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who has struggled in the later innings of his recent outings, gave up a leadoff home run to Steven Souza Jr., giving the Rays an early 1-0 lead. After walking Brad Miller, it appeared as though Sanchez might get out of the inning, retiring the next two Tampa batters. However, Corey Dickerson knocked in Miller with a two-out double, adding to the Rays' lead. The next batter, Desmond Jennings, moved Dickerson to third on an infield single. Logan Morrison then singled in Dickerson to put the Rays up 3-0 with two outs in the first. With Kevin Kiermaier up, Morrison stole second, but was stranded with Jennings as Kiermaier struck out looking to end the inning. After one half inning, the Rays lead the Tigers 3-0.
How to watch: Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The Tigers take aim at their fifth straight win as they open a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Comerica Park.
Ian Kinsler is also on a hot streak, homering in four straight games, lifting his season total to 10, just two back of the AL leaders at 12 – Robinson Cano, Mark Trumbo, Todd Frazier and Khris Davis.
The Tigers swept the Twins earlier this week and the Rays are coming off a sweep of their own, over the Blue Jays. Tampa Bay leads all of MLB with 58 home runs.
Who are the real Tigers? Bob Wojnowski says all of their troubling signs haven’t disappeared, but encouraging ones are emerging.
Kyle Ryan doesn’t generate a lot of attention, as Chris McCosky notes. But the ground-ball and double-play inducing reliever has stabilized the Tiger bullpen.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. J.D. Martinez, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. Nick Castellanos, 3B
6. Justin Upton, LF
7. Cameron Maybin, CF
8. James McCann, C
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
Anibal Sanchez, P
1. Steven Souza Jr., RF
2. Brad Miller, SS
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Steve Pearce, 2B
5. Corey Dickerson, DH
6. Desmond Jennings, LF
7. Logan Morrison, 1B
8. Kevin Kiermaier, CF
9. Hank Conger, C
Matt Andriese, P
TIGERS VS. RAYS
When: Friday, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit
Pitching matchup: Anibal Sanchez (3-4, 5.91) vs. Matt Andriese (2-0, 0.56)
Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit
National TV: None
Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: SIRI 214