Davis does it again as Tigers walk off vs. Rays
DETROIT -- Rajai Davis capped a crazy night with a game-winning sacrifice fly in the 13th, sending home James McCann and sending the Tigers to their first set of back-to-back wins in nearly three weeks with an 8-7 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
A game that saw four lead changes and four ties, including the Rays tying it in the top of the ninth on a Davis dropped fly ball after two walks from closer Bruce Rondon, finally saw its deciding rally after five hours of baseball. McCann led off with an infield single to deep short and advanced to second when pitcher Andrew Bellatti couldn't handle Jefry Marte's sacrifice bunt.
"We work on that 100 times throughout the season, and I was just going too fast," said Bellatti, who was playing his first game since being recalled from Triple-A Durham.
Once Andrew Romine sacrificed the runners to second and third, up came Davis, who had hit his third homer in two nights to open the scoring in the third. His loft into left field didn't look deep enough, but Grady Sizemore's throw home reached the mound on one hop, allowing McCann to beat the relay throw home.
"With how far he had to move, going away from home plate, at that juncture of the ballgame we're going to make him make a play," McCann said. "I was going, [third-base coach Dave Clark] was telling me to go."
Kyle Ryan, the Tigers' record-tying 10th pitcher of the night, entered the game with one out in the 12th and earned the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. With that, the Tigers won consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 19-20.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
In a pinch: When the Tigers went to their bullpen with runners at the corners and nobody out in the sixth inning, the Rays turned to their bench. Manager Kevin Cash pinch-hit lefty Sizemore for Brandon Guyer to face right-hander Al Alburquerque, and the move paid off. Sizemore grounded an RBI single into left field, helping spark the four-run rally. An offensive substitution worked again in the seventh when Daniel Nava lined a pinch-hit, go-ahead single.
McCann of steel: The game took a frightening turn in the bottom of the sixth inning when Rays pitcher Alex Colome hit McCann in the head with an 89-mph cutter. The impact knocked McCann's helmet off, but the rookie quickly alleviated concerns by taking first base. The hit-by-pitch drove in a run, and McCann stayed in the game after a conversation with head athletic trainer Kevin Rand. Colome's erratic night culminated with two wild pitches that helped the Tigers tie the game in the seventh.
Another drive for Davis: Until Monday, Davis hadn't had a two-homer game since 2012. He hadn't homered in back-to-back games since 2013, but he took care of that Tuesday with a drive to left field off Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez, opening the Tigers' scoring. Suffice to say, it marked the first time in his career he has hit three homers in two games.
Going, going, Gose: After the Rays took the lead in the top of the seventh, Anthony Gose rounded the bases for the tying run in three pitches without any help from another hitter. He reached on a one-out single, took second base on a Colome wild pitch, advanced to third on another Colome wild pitch and scored when catcher Rene Rivera's throw sailed into foul territory behind third base.
"It was definitely a difficult play to make," Cash said. "You do everything you can to be sure of yourself that you're either going to put it on the bag, or don't throw it. But that's a tough play. Rene is trying to be an athlete out there and make a big play for us."
"This is September. There's so many pitchers in the bullpen. There's so many options. Every time one manager makes a move, the other manager probably has two or three choices. That's what happens when you expand the rosters." -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Tigers used 10 pitchers, tying a franchise record set on Sept. 14, 1998, against the White Sox. That, too, was an extra-inning game with expanded rosters and a starter (Justin Thompson) who left early in the game. Detroit's manager that day, Larry Parrish, just managed his final game Monday at Triple-A Toledo, having announced his retirement earlier this year.
The 5-hour, 3-minute game was the Rays' longest of the year.
First baseman Richie Shaffer scorched a line drive at Davis with two out in the eighth inning, and Detroit's left fielder bobbled the ball as he fell to the grass. Umpires ruled Davis had made the catch, and the call stood after a 1-minute, 32-second review when officials couldn't definitively determine the ball had touched the ground.
Davis instigated another challenge in the ninth inning, this time when he clearly dropped a fly ball with the bases loaded. Kevin Kiermaier scored from third, and Nick Franklin advanced from second to third, but Ausmus challenged whether Franklin had overslid the bag as Josh Wilson applied the tag. The safe call stood after a 2-minute, 39-second review.
For a third and fourth occasions of the night, Davis was involved in a couple of close plays. In the 11th inning, he hit a slow ground ball to first base, and he dove headfirst into first base to try and beat pitcher Brandon Gomes to the bag. He was called out, but that call was overturned after a 47-second crew-chief review, and Davis was credited with a single. Moments later, Davis narrowly got back to the base in time on a pickoff attempt. The umpires again took a second look, and the call stood. More >
Rays: Jake Odorizzi allowed just three hits over 6 2/3 innings in his last outing, but all three were home runs as he took a loss. The right-hander, who yielded just one run over six innings against the Tigers in July, will start Wednesday's series finale at Comerica Park at 7:08 p.m. ET.
Tigers: Kyle Lobstein makes his second start since returning from the disabled list, hoping to finish his season strong. He gave up six runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings last Saturday against Cleveland, his first start in Detroit since mid-May after left shoulder discomfort shelved him.
Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.