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Miguel Cabrera's last home run was hit on May 20.

That is, until the bottom of the ninth inning of Thursday's 5-3 walk-off win over the Rays.

Cabrera's sixth home run of the year put an exclamation mark on a back-and-forth game between both teams.

After Alex Avila singled with one out -- and replaced by pinch-runner Andrew Romine -- Cabrera came to the plate and sent the ball just barely over the wall in right field, for the opposite-field game-winner.

Left-hander Daniel Norris (3-4, 4.41 ERA) will start for the Tigers (31-34) in the second chapter of the four-game series. Righty Erasmo Ramirez (3-1, 4.20 ERA) will go for the Rays (35-34). First pitch is set for 7:10.

Game stays tied late

Left-hander Justin Wilson got the call in the top of the ninth inning for the Tigers.

He got Jesus Sucre to fly out to right field, before striking out Mallex Smith swinging. Wilson then gave up a two-out single to Corey Dickerson, who was stranded when Evan Longoria struck out swinging.

Going to the bottom of the ninth, it's still tied at 3.

Tigers strand man in 8th

Justin Upton, got a one-out hit on a hard-hit ball up the middle, but nothing else as the bottom of the eighth inning came and went for the Tigers.

It's still a 3-3 game and Justin Wilson will get the ball to start the ninth.

K-Rod blows lead in 8th

Francisco Rodriguez, recently publicizing displeasure with his perceived lack of use in high-leverage situations, took the mound in the top of the eighth inning for the Tigers, with a 3-2 lead.

The veteran right-hander promptly gave up a long home run to Steven Souza Jr. to tie the game.

Rodriguez escaped the inning with just the one run allowed, but the damage -- for now -- is done.

Going to the bottom of the eighth, it's 3-3.

Tigers retake lead in 7th

The Tigers retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.

After Ian Kinsler led off the half inning with an infield single, Alex Avila walked to put two on with nobody out. Miguel Cabrera then grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, moving Kinsler to third and chasing starter Alex Cobb in favor of right-hander Jumbo Diaz. Victor Martinez then reached on a fielding error from shortstop Daniel Robertson, which allowed Kinsler to score. Martinez appeared to tweak something and was replaced by pinch-runner Dixon Machado.

After seven, the Tigers lead 3-2. Francisco Rodriguez will take the mound for starter Justin Verlander, who is in line for the win.

7th-Inning Stretch: Tigers 2, Rays 2

The Tigers and Rays are tied at 2 at the Seventh-Inning Stretch.

Justin Verlander and Alex Cobb are locked in a pitcher's duel, of sorts.

Verlander (seven innings) and Cobb (six) have each allowed two runs. The Rays have theirs on seven hits, while the Tigers have scattered six. Verlander has six strikeouts to Cobb's three, but has also walked five to Cobb's one.

Tigers strand double in 6th

Alex Presley doubled with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Tigers, but was stranded on a Jose Iglesias ground ball to Rays starter Alex Cobb to end the inning.

Justin Verlander will take the mound for the Tigers in the seventh inning of a 2-2 game. He's allowed two runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking four so far -- on 98 pitches.

Tigers turn DP of their own in 6th

The Tigers, who saw their fifth inning end on a double play, turned one of their own in the top of the sixth.

Colby Rasmus singled to lead off the inning, before being erased on a 4-3 double play off the bat of Daniel Robertson.

Michael Martinez lined out to center field to end the half inning.

The game is still tied at 2.

Double play ends 5th for Tigers

Victor Martinez singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, for the Tigers.

That proved to be the only offensive production, though.

J.D. Martinez grounded into an impressive looking 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, keeping the game tied at 2.

Verlander strands 2 more in 5th

Justin Verlander appeared to be rolling in the fifth inning, after striking out Mallex Smith and getting Corey Dickerson to pop out to third base in a two-pitch at-bat.

But Verlander then allowed back-to-back Rays to reach, on a single from Evan Longoria and a walk -- Verlander's fourth -- to Logan Morrison.

They were stranded when Verlander struck Steven Souza Jr. on a high fastball.

Going to the bottom of the fifth, it's still 2-2.

Tigers go 1-2-3 in 4th

The Tigers went down in order in the bottom of the fourth.

Jose Iglesias grounded out to third base, before Ian Kinsler hit a line drive right at Steven Souza Jr. in right field for the second out. Alex Avila struck out swinging -- his third of the game -- to end the inning.

After four, the game is still tied at 2.

JV strands pair in 4th

For the fourth straight inning, Justin Verlander allowed the leadoff batter to reach. As with the second inning, he allowed the first two on.

But this time, Verlander stranded both.

After Colby Rasmus reached on a hard-hit single to right field, Verlander walked Daniel Robertson. Michael Martinez then struck out before Jesus Sucre grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Going to the bottom of the fourth, it's still 2-2.

Tigers tie it in 3rd

This time, it was the Tigers' turn to tie the game.

With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Miguel Cabrera singled down the left field line. He advanced to third after Victor Martinez grounded out, and scored on a double from J.D. Martinez off the glove of Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr.

Cabrera was shown, after he scored, going down the tunnel to the clubhouse with a member of the Tigers training staff, but returned to the bench a short time later.

Justin Upton walked with two outs to keep things going for the Tigers, before Nicholas Castellanos reached on a fielding error from shortstop Daniel Robertson, loading the bases. But Alex Presley grounded out to end the inning and the threat.

After three, it's 2-2.

Rays take lead in 3rd

Logan Morrison doubled with two outs in the top of the third inning, putting the Rays ahead.

Mallex Smith singled to lead off the inning, before Corey Dickerson struck out swinging and Evan Longoria flew out to left field. Smith then scored from first on Morrison's hit to deep center field.

Steven Souza Jr. flew out to the warning track in left field to end the half inning.

Going to the bottom of the third, the Rays lead 2-1.

Tigers strand Iglesias in 2nd

The Tigers stranded Jose Iglesias -- who doubled with two outs -- in the bottom of the second inning.

Nicholas Castellanos (center field) and Alex Presley (right field) flew out before Ian Kinsler grounded out to third base to end the inning.

After two, it's still 1-1.

Rays tie game in 2nd

The Rays tied the game in the top of the second inning.

Justin Verlander gave up a single to Logan Morrison before walking Steven Souza Jr., allowing the first two Rays to reach in the inning. Tampa Bay moved up Morrison and Souza on back-to-back ground ball outs, the second of which scored Morrison to tie the game.

Verlander then walked Michael Martinez with two outs, extending the inning, before striking out Jesus Sucre swinging to end the half inning.

Going to the bottom of the second, it's 1-1.

V-Mart has 1st RBI of June

With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Victor Martinez hit an RBI single -- his first RBI of the month -- to center field, driving in Ian Kinsler -- who was hit to lead off the half inning.

J.D. Martinez then singled Victor to second, extending the inning, before Justin Upton popped out to first baseman Logan Morrison in foul territory to end the inning.

After one, the Tigers are up 1-0.

JV throws 1-2-3 1st

Justin Verlander set the Rays down in order in the top of the first inning. He got Mallex Smith to ground out to second, before getting Corey Dickerson to fly out to right field and striking out Evan Longoria looking to end the half inning.

Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.

Live blog: Tigers vs. Rays

The Tigers will turn to their ace Thursday night to try to snap out of another funk.

Right-hander Justin Verlander draws the start as the Tigers open a four-game series against the Rays at Comerica Park. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.

The Tigers have dropped back-to-back games in a sweep to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and have lost six of eight overall. The two losses to the Diamondbacks dropped the Tigers to 16-14 at Comerica Park this season. Only the Royals (17-16) and Indians (15-17) have worse winning percentages at home in the American League.

Verlander (4-4, 4.68 ERA) will square off against Rays right-hander Alex Cobb (5-5, 4.29 ERA).

RAYS AT TIGERS

First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM

Records: The Tigers are 30-34, third place in the American League Central Division, 4.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins. The Rays are 35-33, third place in the AL East, 5.5 games behind the New York Yankees.

RAYS LINEUP

1. Mallex Smith, CF

2. Corey Dickerson, DH

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. Logan Morrison, 1B

5. Steven Souza Jr., LF

6. Colby Rasmus, LF

7. Daniel Robertson, SS

8. Michael Martinez, 2B

9. Jesus Sucre, C

SP: Alex Cobb, RHP

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Alex Avila, C

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. J.D. Martinez, RF

6. Justin Upton, LF

7. Nick Castellanos, 3B

8. Alex Presley, CF

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

SP: Justin Verlander, RHP

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