Ji-Man Choi is doused with orange drink after his walk-off single in the ninth inning Sunday against the Detroit Tigers. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- Ji-Man Choi's two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a rally that saw the Tampa Bay Rays erase a 4-1 eighth-inning deficit and earn a series win with a 5-4 win over the Detroit Tigers Sunday at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay went into the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-3, but immediately started to rally as Travis d'Arnaud reached on a throwing error by Gordon Beckham. Willy Adames walked to moved d'Arnaud into scoring position, but Kevin Kiermaier could not get the sacrifice bunt down, popping out for the first out of the inning. Mike Brosseau reached on an infield single, and Choi, who pinch-hit for catcher Mike Zunino an inning earlier, singled off the leg of Tigers closer Joe Jimenez and past Beckham for the game-winning hit.
Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first against new Rays pitcher Trevor Richards, who was making his big league debut. The right-hander walked Victor Reyes to start the game, and after a strikeout of Dawel Lugo, Harold Castro got a hold of a 3-1 offering and sent it the other way for his fourth home run of the season.
Tampa Bay got one run back in the bottom of the first, with Tommy Pham singling, moving to second on a walk to Matt Duffy and taking third on a fielder's choice groundout by Austin Meadows before scoring on a sacrifice fly by d'Arnaud.
Richards worked into the fourth inning Sunday, allowing the two runs on eight hits and striking out six in a 71-pitch outing.
Detroit added two more runs in the seventh against reliever Andrew Kittredge, with Gordon Beckham singling, moving to second on a wild pitch and scoring on a Victor Reyes double. Castro's sacrifice fly two batters later gave the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
The Rays pulled to within 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, as Choi, pinch-hitting for Zunino, drew a leadoff walk against Buck Farmer. Eric Sogard grounded into a fielder's choice, and Pham blasted a two-run homer to center, his 18th of the season.
Jose Alvarado (1-5) earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning.