After going 29 consecutive scoreless innings, the Tampa Bay Rays finally scored a run. And that run turned out to be the only run scored in a 1-0 13-inning win over the Detroit Tigers Saturday night.
Mike Brosseau drove in Eric Sogard, who had doubled with two outs in the 13th, to finally end the drought and allow the Rays to inch closer to the top wild card spot in the American League after the Cleveland Indians lost to the New York Yankees 6-5 on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams were so evenly matched for the night that each team through 10 innings had no runs on three hits.
The Rays were looking to get up off the mat after being shut out by the Tigers Friday night. And they looked to do it against Tigers starter Jordan Zimmerman, he of the 1-8 record and 7.13 ERA.
And, just like Friday night, the Rays' bats were stymied by a pitcher you figured they would be able to handle with ease. However, the Rays' starter, Ryan Yarbrough, was able to match what Zimmerman was throwing.
The scoreless duel between starters ended in the sixth, as the Tigers removed Zimmerman for Jose Cisnero, but not after Zimmerman allowed only one hit with 5 strikeouts and no walks. Through that point in the game, Yarbrough allowed two hits with 9 Ks and also, no walks. And after Rays’ manager Kevin Cash removed Yarbrough with one out in the seventh, the scoreless duel continued between bullpens into the 13th. Yarbrough finished the night allowing three hits and striking out 10.
Every pitcher who entered the game after Cash removed Yarbrough retired each hitter faced, starting with Chaz Roe, who struck out both hitters he encountered. Nick Anderson came on in the eighth and struck out each hitter he faced. Then Emilio Pagan struck out the side in the ninth and retired the Tigers in order in the 10th. Diego Castillo also retired all six hitters he faced in the 11th and 12th innings. The last pitcher on the mound, Colin Poche, earned his third win of the season by retiring the Tigers in order in the 13th, the last two on strikeouts. Eighteen consecutive Tiger hitters were retired by the Rays’ bullpen.
The Rays set a team record by striking out 24 Tiger batters. The record was 22 Ks set against Minnesota on June 27.
The Rays had a golden opportunity to end the game two innings earlier. In the bottom of the 11th, the leadoff man, Mike Zunino, walked, then moved to second on a single by Eric Sogard. Tommy Pham grounded out, moving the runners up a base, and the Tigers chose to intentionally walk Austin Meadows, loading the bases and bringing up the Rays' player of the month for July, Travis d'Arnaud. The strategy worked as d'Arnaud grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Detroit never really threatened, as only two runners reached second base the entire night.
*The Rays are 8-10 in their last 18 games at Tropicana Field.
*The Rays are now 3-8 in extra innings this season (3-7 at home).
*The Rays are now 0-for-their last 17 with the bases loaded.
*The rubber game is set for Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Trevor Richard, newly acquired from Miami, is expected to get his first start for the Rays. Richard is 3-12 with a 4.50 ERA, all with the Marlins, working both as a starter and reliever. The Tigers will counter with Matthew Boyd (6-9, 4.38 ERA).
Photo Courtesy: Tampa Bay Rays