Casali's pair of HRs leads Rays past Tigers
ST. PETERSBURG -- Curt Casali homered twice for the Rays again Tuesday to propel Tampa Bay to a 10-2 victory over the Tigers at Tropicana Field.
Casali's first home run of the night was a two-run shot in the fourth that extended the Rays' lead to 4-1 after an Asdrubal Cabrera RBI double broke a 1-1 tie the at-bat before. Two innings later, the catcher accomplished a rare feat by smacking a solo home run to give him back-to-back multi-home run games. Evan Longoria added a home run of his own in the eighth to spark a five-run inning.
"Curt Casali continues to stay hot," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It was a pretty impressive show that he put on tonight. Good for him. We need that [offensive] boost and he's been right there in the middle of providing all of that."
Both home runs came off of former Rays pitcher and current Tigers ace David Price, who took his fourth loss of the season after surrendering five runs on seven hits in six innings. Jake Odorizzi earned his sixth win of the season after allowing just one run -- a Yoenis Cespedes home run in the fourth -- over six innings while striking out eight.
The victory gets the Rays back to .500 (51-51) on the season and marks just their second series victory out of their last 10 series. The Tigers (48-52), meanwhile, fell into fourth place in the American League Central behind the surging White Sox.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Casali clubs two again: For the second consecutive day, Casali delivered a multi-home run game for the Rays, making him the second rookie catcher in Major League history to accomplish that feat -- the other being Seattle's Kenji Johjima in 2006. He also becomes the second player in Rays history with back-to-back multi-home run games, joining Greg Vaughn, who did in Baltimore on May 18-19, 2002, and the first catcher to have done it since Mike Napoli in 2011. More >
Cespedes lines another one out: One night after Cespedes lined a home run midway up the left-field seats, he hit another one out on a frozen rope, this one just over the right-field fence off an Odorizzi breaking ball. It was Cespedes' 17th home run of the year.
Back to normal: In his 11 starts prior to being injured on June 5 in Seattle, Odorizzi never pitched fewer than six innings in an outing, but since his return on July 11, the right-hander has not had the same leash, unable to get out of the fifth in each of his three starts. After a conversation with Cash, Odorizzi finally got the leeway he wanted, tossing 101 pitches over six innings.
Just drive him in: What looked like an early opportunity for Tigers momentum became a symbol of their frustration so far this series after J.D. Martinez's second-inning leadoff triple to deep center field. Nick Castellanos popped out to first base, James McCann lined out to shallow left field, and Alex Avila flew out to leave Martinez still standing on third base when the inning ended.
"It does change the tone of the game a little bit at that point," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
"It's extremely frustrating. This team is better than this. Period. I've got nothing else. This team is better than this." -- Price on Tigers' struggles, now 4-8 since the All-Star break
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Casali joined a star-studded group of hitters with two-homer games off Price in his career. In addition to David Ortiz's performance in Game 2 of the Rays-Red Sox AL Division Series, the regular-season list includes Victor Martinez in 2010; Jose Bautista, Mark Reynolds and Mark Teixeira in '11; and Albert Pujols last year.
J.D. Martinez led off the second inning for the Tigers with a bomb to deep center that landed in front of a retreating Kevin Kiermaier. The play was ruled a triple on the field, but crew chief Paul Nauert wanted to review the play to see if Martinez's ball hit the D-Ring catwalk, which would then grant Martinez a home run. However, there was no conclusive view of the ball hitting the catwalk so the call on the field stood.
"I think clearly it hit something, based on the outfielder's reaction," Ausmus said. "If it hit something out there, it should be a home run."
Tigers: Detroit's hopes of salvaging a game in this series rest with Justin Verlander (0-3, 5.57) in the 12:10 p.m. ET finale. Verlander's seven starts so far this season have all ended in Tigers losses with a combination of costly big innings and low run support. He tossed eight innings of one-run ball at Boston last Friday but left with a no-decision in a 2-1 Tigers extra-inning loss.
Rays: Chris Archer (9-7, 2.67 ERA) will look to snap a stretch in which he has not earned a win over his last five starts, despite allowing two runs or fewer in three of those outings. In three career starts against the Tigers, the right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA.
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