St. Petersburg, Fla. — Mike Brosseau, who played baseball at Oakland University, came through in the 13th inning to finish a long night and end an extended scoring drought by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Brosseau’s pinch-hit RBI single in the 13th drove in Eric Sogard to give the Rays a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night in a game in which the Rays struck out 24 batters without walking any.
Sogard doubled off Matt Hall (0-1) with two outs and Tommy Pham was intentionally walked. Brosseau, batting for pitcher Colin Poche, singled to right-center field for the Rays’ first run since Wednesday, ending a streak of 29 scoreless innings.
“Obviously a long game, right? So you want to be the one to end it in that situation,” Broussard said after his first walk-off hit.
Six Tampa Bay pitchers combined to set a major league record for strikeouts without a walk, and it also set a franchise record for the Tigers, who have struck out 37 times in the first two games of the three-game series without a base on balls.
“I know we struck out as many times as I’ve ever seen in a baseball game,” said Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire. “A lot of outs were being made and that’s probably because the pitching was pretty good on both sides.”
Sogard’s double off the wall was the only hit that came close to a home run on a night when plenty of hitters were trying to hit one.
“I think in those situations everybody wants to hit the game winner,” Gardenhire said. “When you start swinging hard and out of the (strike) zone trying to do those things, it really works against you. Both teams kind of got involved in that a little bit.”
Rays relievers struck out 14 in 20 hitless at bats. Six Tigers hitters struck out at least three times.
“(Rays starter Ryan) Yarbrough set the tone from pitch one,” said reliever Emilio Pagan, who struck out four in two innings. “We were in a lot of plus counts and we were able to execute when we were ahead. That was a special game for sure.”
Poche (3-4) got the win after striking out two of the three Tigers he faced in the 13th.
The win kept the Rays one-half game ahead of Oakland for the American League’s second wild-card spot.
Detroit’s final hit was Niko Goodrum’s one-out double in the seventh off Yarbrough. The next eight Tigers struck out against three different relievers.
Yarbrough, who came one out short of pitching the Rays’ first complete game in three years on Sunday, is 6-0 with a 1.43 ERA over 56⅔ innings in his last 11 appearances. He gave up three hits while striking out 10 in 6⅓ innings.
Detroit starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed only one baserunner — on Tommy Pham’s double — in five innings, throwing 63 pitches and striking out five.