Rays rock Detroit with 4 HRs in shutout win
DETROIT -- Logan Forsythe doubled in a run and homered for another, leading a four-homer Rays assault on Tigers pitching to avoid a series sweep with an 8-0 win Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
Forsythe's blooper just inside the right-field line plated Mikie Mahtook before Asdrubal Cabrera doubled in two more tallies, building a 3-0 lead off Kyle Lobstein. The former Rays' Draft pick, acquired by Detroit as a Rule 5 Draft selection in 2012 and retained in a trade for Curt Casali, allowed only one hit his first trip through the order but struggled from there, finishing with five runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Forsythe and Tim Beckham knocked Lobstein out of the game with solo homers in the sixth. J.P. Arencibia and Mahtook added solo shots in the seventh.
"When Logan hit the homer, I felt like the floodgates opened up," Mahtook said. "Baseball is a contagious game. Once he did that, and the next guy did it, and the next guy did it, it was one of those things where that's when baseball gets really fun."
With the victory, the Rays gained ground in the American League postseason picture, moving to 5 1/2 games back in both the AL East and Wild Card race with 23 left to play.
The loss halted Detroit's winning streak at two. The Tigers haven't won three consecutive games since Aug. 18-20, their only three-game winning streak since the All-Star break. They haven't swept a three-game series since the opening week of the season.
"I haven't pitched at this level for a few months now," said Lobstein, who made his second start since May after a stint on the disabled list. "It's a little different than sim games or rehab starts. It's still an adjustment that you have to make. Part of that is throwing quality strikes and being down in the zone."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
No-dorizzi: The Tigers had a prime opportunity to erase a 3-0 hole in the fifth inning when they put two runners aboard with two out for designated hitter Miguel Cabrera. Rays starter Jake Odorizzi, though, didn't allow the All-Star slugger to even make contact. After falling behind in the count, 3-1, the right-hander got two swinging strikes on fastballs to retire Cabrera and end the threat. Odorizzi didn't allow a run over six innings as he earned his first road win since May 31. More >
"The fifth inning was their biggest threat, and he beared down and threw some pitches by probably the best hitter in baseball in Miguel Cabrera with two on," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It looked like he had everything going tonight for him."
Bats on fire: Forsythe, the reigning AL Player of the Week, continued to swing a hot bat. He started the Rays' home run parade with a solo shot in the sixth, and three of the next seven Tampa Bay hitters blasted homers of their own, giving the club four in a game for the second time this season. Tigers pitching, meanwhile, has yielded four or more dingers on seven occasions.
"You can see the confidence [when] he's going up to the plate," Cash said of Forsythe. "We've seen it for a lot of the year, but it seems like over the last month or so, he's shown that much more." More >
Just denied: Lost in the lopsided score were five Tigers baserunners over the first three innings, including two on in the third when J.D. Martinez hit a drive to deep left-center in hopes of his 37th home run of the year. Brandon Guyer denied him with a leaping catch on the warning track, keeping the game scoreless before the Rays broke ahead.
Moya's makeup play: Steven Moya, the Tigers' top prospect in the MLBPipeline.com rankings, made his season debut for the Tigers as a defensive replacement in right field and ended up with an adventurous eighth inning. He lost a fly ball near the warning track for a Guyer ground-rule double, but promptly doubled off Guyer at second base with a strong throw off Mahtook's shallow fly ball.
"I got it back," Moya said of the out. More >
"I just threw it as hard as I could -- challenge him. It's either going to be hit 500 feet or it's going to be a strikeout. I just went for it, and he swung through it. He's hit a few of those in his day, so I guess I'll take this one." -- Odorizzi, on his strikeout of Cabrera to end the fifth
"I think tonight a lot of it had to do with the fact that our defense -- who are obviously also our lineup -- were standing out there for 20 minutes at a time, as we're trying to get through innings, so that doesn't really help." -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on Tigers' fifth shutout in their last 28 games
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• The Rays are 25-16 when facing a left-handed starter, the second-best record in the Major Leagues behind the Blue Jays.
Arencibia's seventh-inning home run off Buck Farmer hurt more than Farmer's pride. The Tigers right-hander left the game without another pitch thrown after head athletic trainer Kevin Rand visited the mound. Farmer left the game with right forearm tightness, the team later announced.
Rays: After a day off Thursday, Tampa Bay returns to Tropicana Field for a series against the Red Sox, marking the beginning of a 10-game homestand against AL East opponents. Ace Chris Archer (12-11, 2.88 ERA) gets the ball first as the Rays look to claw back into the postseason picture. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET.
Tigers: Alfredo Simon (12-9, 4.86) is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA this season against the Indians, and the right-hander will try for one more win in Cleveland to open a four-game divisional matchup at Progressive Field and a seven-game, eight-day road trip. Game time is 7:10 p.m. ET.
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