ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays have been known this year for normally needing strong pitching performance to win, but Monday was no normal contest.
The Rays blew leads of 5-0, 7-3, and 9-7 to the Detroit Tigers, but Daniel Robertson's RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning gave Tampa Bay a 10-9 win over Detroit at Tropicana Field.
After starter Chris Archer needed 25 pitches to get through his first inning back from the disabled list, Tampa Bay jumped on Francisco Liriano for five first-inning runs. Four consecutive singles by Matt Duffy, Robertson, Wilson Ramos and C.J. Cron gave the Rays a 1-0 lead, and after a fielder's choice by Jake Bauers allowed Robertson to come home and make it 2-0, Adeiny Hechavarria's fly ball to right was misplayed by Nicholas Castellanos for a two-run double and a 4-0 advantage.
Carlos Gomez then singled in Hechavarria to make it 5-0.
Archer would allow Detroit to close the gap in the third, with a two-run double by Niko Goodrum and an RBI groundout by Jim Adduci cutting the lead back to 5-3, but Wilson Ramos homered on the first pitch in the bottom of the inning, his 13th of the year, and Gomez would double in Cron off Drew VerHagen later in the inning to give Tampa Bay a four-run lead.
The Rays starter would exit one out into the fourth, with Hunter Wood stranding both inherited runners in that inning, and allowing just one base runner of his own while getting through the sixth.
The seventh inning is where things started to break down for the pitching staff, as Jaime Schultz walked Ronny Rodriguez, hit Castellanos with a pitch, then allowed a base hit to Goodrum to make it 7-4. Kevin cash turned to Adam Kolarek to face Martinez, whose sacrifice fly brought in Castellanos to make it 7-5. Diego Castillo was then brought in to face pinch-hitter John Hicks, getting him to pop out, but the right-hander then walked Mikie Mahtook and hit James McCann with a pitch, allowing Jose Iglesias to bat with the bases loaded. Iglesias doubled to left, bringing in Goodrum and Mahtook to tie the game.
But again, the Rays would rally and break the tie in the bottom of the inning, with Cron doubling off Louis Coleman to start the frame, and Bauers singling pinch-runner Johnny Field to third. Hechavarria lined out for the first out of the inning, but Gomez laid down a bunt single that broke the tie, and Joey Wendle's RBI double plated Bauers for a 9-7 lead.
Detroit rallied again to tie the game in the eighth, with Martinez singling off Jose Alvarado to bring in Castellanos, and Mahtook's infield hit tying the game back up at 9-9.
That set up the heroics for Tampa Bay, which came in the bottom of the tenth with one out against Blaine Hardy. Kevin Kiermaier tripled into the triangle in center field, and after Duffy worked a nine-pitch walk, Robertson took a 1-1 pitch back up the middle to end the game, giving Matt Andriese (2-3), who worked a scoreless tenth, the win.
The victory gets Tampa Bay back to a season-high two games above .50 on the year at 46-44.
Tampa Bay rays (46-44) vs. Detroit Tigers (40-53), 7:10 p.m. first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars.
Rays starter - RHP Ryne Stanek (1-2, 2.12 ERA)
Tigers starter - LHP Matthew Boyd 4-7, 4.58 ERA