Live blog: Tigers bats go silent in loss to Rays
FINAL: RAYS 5, TIGERS 1
Miguel Cabrera made some early noise on his 34th birthday, hitting a towering home run to center field and staking the Tigers to a 1-0 lead.
That was as good as things got for Brad Ausmus' club.
Michael Fulmer pitched well, but he hung a couple of sliders during the middle innings that the Rays crushed on their way to three runs off the Tigers young starter. They got a two-run home run from their number nine hitter, Tim Beckham, in the third inning, and Derek Norris just missed a three-run shot in the sixth, instead settling for an RBI single off the fence in left field.
Tampa Bay added two more runs off of Kyle Ryan in the seventh.
Matt Andriese threw six-plus innings of solid baseball, at one point retiring 12 consecutive Tigers on his way to striking out five and surrendering just four hits.
In the ninth, the Rays brought in closer Alex Colome, and he shut the door. Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging, Victor Martinez grounded out to second and Andrew Romine lined out to third to end the game.
Fulmer's final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 88 pitches
Bottom 8th: Rays 5, Tigers 1
Warwick Saupold got the call from the Tigers bullpen in the eighth. He gave up a two-out walk to Peter Bourjos, but he got Kevin Kiermaier to strike out looking to end the inning and give the Tigers a puncher's chance in the ninth.
Shane Peterson grounded out to second, and Tim Beckham struck out swinging to start the frame.
Top 8th: Rays 5, Tigers 1
Jumbo Diaz (yes, really) came out of the bullpen for the Rays in the eighth inning and set the Tigers down in order.
Jose Iglesias popped out, Ian Kinsler struck out swinging and Nick Castellanos grounded out to third to end the frame.
Bottom 7th: Rays 5, Tigers 1
Despite having thrown just 88 pitches, Michael Fulmer's night was cut short after sitting on the bench during a lengthy top half of the seventh inning.
That meant it was time for Tampa Bay to go to work on the Tigers porous bullpen.
Kyle Ryan got the call out of the bullpen, and Tim Beckham notched an infield single when Jose Iglesias couldn't make the exchange from his glove on a spectacular diving stop. Ryan bounced back to strike out Corey Dickerson, but Kevin Kiermaier found the gap in left-center to score Beckham and give the Rays a little bit of insurance at 4-1. After Kiermaier swiped third base, Brad Miller singled to score him and push the lead to 5-1.
That was the end of the line for Ryan.
Shane Greene came in to pick up the pieces, striking out Steven Souza Jr. before issuing a walk to Logan Morrison that loaded the bases for Derek Norris. Greene was able to strike out Norris to get out of the sticky situation and keep the Tigers within striking distance.
Fulmer's final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 88 pitches
Top 7th: Rays 3, Tigers 1
Victor Martinez drew a leadoff walk, and Justin Upton grinded out a 9-pitch at-bat with Matt Andriese before serving a single to right field and chasing the young Rays starter from the game. After the Rays brought in reliever Danny Farquhar, Tyler Collins was able to beat out what looked to be a double play ball, leaving runners on the corners with just one out. Farquhar struck out Alex Avila before being removed in favor of Tommy Hunter, who got Jacoby Jones to fly out to left field on the first pitch he threw.
Andriese's final line: 6+, 4H, 1ER, 1BB, 5K
Bottom 6th: Rays 3, Tigers 1
Derek Norris drove a ball off the wall in left field with two outs and runners on the corners to give Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead on Michael Fulmer and the Tigers.
Justin Upton made a nice, sliding grab in foul territory during the next at-bat to get the Tigers out of the inning.
The trouble started when Brad Miller worked a one-out walk from Fulmer, and Steven Souza Jr. followed with a single to left-center as the Rays tried to add some insurance runs heading into the late innings. Fulmer was able to get Logan Morrison to fly out deep to center field, allowing Miller to move up to third and setting the plate for Norris.
Evan Longoria led off the inning by striking out on a Fulmer fastball that hit 96 on the gun.
The heat hasn't been a problem for Fulmer tonight. His slider has been consistently hung out to dry, and the Rays have jumped all over it. Fulmer has thrown 88 pitches.
Top 6th: Rays 2, Tigers 1
Ian Kinsler grounded out to shortstop, Nick Castellanos struck out swinging and Miguel Cabrera grounded out to second as Matt Andriese continues to roll. He's now set down 12 consecutive Tigers. With his pitch count at 90, I'd imagine he gets a crack at the seventh inning.
Bottom 5th: Rays 2, Tigers 1
Michael Fulmer got a much-needed quick fifth inning as he set the Rays down in order.
Tim Beckham grounded out to shortstop, Corey Dickerson flew out to Jacoby Jones in center field, who got a ball that bounced off the catwalk at Tropicana Field, and Corey Dickerson struck out swinging to end the frame.
Fulmer has thrown just 62 pitches, which is quite good through five innings. But he has struggled a bit. If he can keep the ship righted, he's probably going to toss seven or eight innings tonight.
Top 5th: Rays 2, Tigers 1
Matt Andriese has really settled into a nice groove. After a 1-2-3 fifth inning, he's set down the last nine Tigers hitters he's faced.
Alex Avila struck out swinging, Jacoby Jones grounded out to shortstop and Jose Iglesias lined out to first base.
Andriese has thrown 75 pitches, striking out four Tigers and surrendering just three hits through five innings.
Bottom 4th: Rays 2, Tigers 1
Steven Souza Jr. was able to work a one-out walk from Michael Fulmer, and after Logan Morrison grounded into a fielder's choice, the Rays got a single to left field from Derek Norris to put runners on first and second with two outs. Fulmer bounced back by striking out Shane Peterson to end the frame.
Brad Miller struck out swinging to leadoff the inning.
Top 4th: Rays 2, Tigers 1
Victor Martinez flew out to let field, Justin Upton grounded out to shortstop and Tyler Collins flew out to center field as Rays starter Matt Andriese set the Tigers down in order.
Bottom 3rd: Rays 2, Tigers 1
The Rays ninth man in the order, Tim Beckham, turned on a Michael Fulmer offering and drilled it to left field for a two-run home run that gives Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead.
Shane Peterson led off with a single to right field, and Fulmer has given up quite a few hard hit balls over the last two innings.
The young pitcher was able to set the next three men down in order. He's thrown just 30 pitches over the first three frames, so he needs to settle in and start getting some quieter outs.
Top 3rd: Tigers 1, Rays 0
Miguel Cabrera stepped to the dish with a runner in scoring position but couldn't deliver for a second time, striking out at a pitch in the dirt to end the inning.
Jose Iglesias led things off with a single to right field, and after Ian Kinsler missed a home run to left field by just a couple of feet, Iglesias moved up to second with a stolen base. He moved up to third when Nick Castellanos grounded out to shortstop for the second out of the inning.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 1, Rays 0
Logan Morris singled through the middle of the infield with two outs, but Michael Fulmer got out of the inning one pitch later when he was hit in the leg by a Derek Norris shot that bounced to Jose Iglesias for the third out of the inning.
Fulmer walked off the field under his own power, so for now, it looks like he's fine.
Brad Miller flew out to left field to leadoff the inning, and Steven Souza Jr. struck out swinging after crushing the first pitch of his at-bat just outside the foul pole.
Top 2nd: Tigers 1, Rays 0
Tyler Collins grounded out to second base, the hot-hitting Alex Avila grounded out to shortstop and Jacoby Jones struck out looking as the Tigers went down in order in the second inning.
Rays start Matt Andriese has thrown 32 pitches through the first two frames.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 1, Rays 0
Corey Dickerson grounded out to second, Kevin Kiermaier flew out to center field and Evan Longoria grounded out to shortstop as Michael Fulmer needed just nine pitches to get through the opening frame.
Top 1st: Tigers 1, Rays 0
Miguel Cabrera celebrated his 34th birthday early on tonight, drilling a 2-0 fastball DEEP to center field and gone to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead over the Rays and starting pitcher Matt Andriese.
Victor Martinez followed with a two-out single through the right side of the infield, but Justin Upton struck out looking to end the frame.
Ian Kinsler popped out behind the bag at first base, and Nick Castellanos grounded out to third base to leadoff the inning.
TIGERS VS. RAYS
When: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
TV / radio: FSD / 97.1 FM
Pitching matchup: RHP Michael Fulmer (1-0, 2.25) vs. RHP Matt Andriese (0-0, 4.50)