Kevin Kiermaier stroked a one-out triple in the 10th off Blaine Hardy, who walked the next batter, Matt Duffy, to put runners at the corners. Daniel Robertson then singled through the drawn-in Tigers infield to drive home Kiermaier for the walk-off win.
"Can't give enough credit to KK getting us going there," Robertson said. "Matty Duffy with the at-bat of the day. I don't know how many pitches he saw, but he gave me enough pitches to know what [Hardy] was doing. What an at-bat that was. At the end of the day, I knew I had [Wilson] Ramos coming up behind me. So I knew they were going to try to attack me. ... I was able to get one up the middle there."
The Rays are 12-4 in their last 16 games to improve to 46-44, matching their high-water mark of the season at two games over .500.
Tampa Bay's offense built leads of 5-0 after the first, 7-3 after the third and 9-7 after the seventh, only to see Detroit come back to tie the game.
The Rays' pitching woes were present from the outset. Starter Chris Archer showed some rust in his return from the disabled list, allowing three runs on six hits, walking two and striking out three in 3 1/3 innings.
Hunter Wood took over for Archer, and the right-hander showed well, notching 2 2/3 scoreless innings, but what happened next wasn't typical of Rays pitching.
Jaime Schultz had a tough outing in his second stint with the Rays, allowing three runs on a hit and a walk without retiring a batter. Adam Kolarek, Diego Castillo, Ryne Stanek, Jose Alvarado and Sergio Romo followed, leading up to Matt Andriese, who pitched a scoreless 10th to earn the win.
"Well, wins are wins," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "Nice to see our offense come to life the last two days. That's probably the bright spot. We didn't do our best on the mound, but saying that, we've been on a pretty impressive run.
"I think the guys are allowed a little bit of a hiccup, and it was nice to see that the offense was there to pick them up. Because that happens a lot the other way. And you're not going to go out there and throw shutouts and two-run ballgames all the time."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED The Rays lost a 7-3 lead to open their half of the seventh in a tie. Cron doubled to start the inning. Pinch-runner Johnny Field then moved to third on Jake Bauers' single to right. One out later, Carlos Gomez stepped to the plate and dropped a bunt down the third-base line to score Field. Gomez beat the throw to first for his third hit, and third RBI, of the game. Joey Wendle added to the damage in the seventh with an RBI double to put the Rays up 9-7.
SOUND SMART Tampa Bay won in walk-off fashion for the fifth time this season, including the third time in its last 11 home games.
HAZELBAKER CLEARS WAIVERS Outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker cleared outright waivers so he will remain with the Rays' organization, heading back to Triple-A Durham. Hazelbaker was designated for assignment on July 6 so the Rays could promote left-hander Adam Kolarek from Triple-A Durham to the 40-man roster.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY Bauers raced home on Adeiny Hechavarria's first-inning double, sliding head-first to score the Rays' fourth run of the inning and prompting the Tigers to challenge the close call. After a review of 1 minute, 36 seconds, the call stood.
UP NEXT Reliever Ryne Stanek will start Tuesday against the Tigers in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. Nine of the right-hander's 10 starts have been scoreless, including the last eight in a row, a streak spanning 11 2/3 innings. His average fastball velocity this season is 98.1 mph. Left-hander Matthew Boyd will start for the Tigers.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.