MLB

TB
2
FINAL
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
R
H
E
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
7
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
2
2
x
7
10
0
TV:
Det
7

Tigers take two of three from Rays

Share This Story

   
 

DETROIT (AP)

When Drew Smyly imagined what his major league debut would be like, he never pictured anything as strange as the real thing.

GREAT AMERICAN RACE

The Junior Circuit is poised for epic AL pennant chases this season.

Just a few days after struggling in his only Triple-A start, the 22-year-old looked far from ready for the big leagues when Tampa Bay immediately loaded the bases on two walks and a single.

''It's been an exciting week, but I was struggling,'' Smyly said after Detroit's 7-2 win Thursday. ''I couldn't get into a groove, but once I got the bases loaded, I told myself that I had to settle down and get out of it.''

Smyly did just that, getting Jeff Keppinger to pop out, and then striking out Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez to escape the inning.

''We had the game right there for the taking in the first inning, and we chose not to take it,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''The kid was obviously nervous, so I felt good with Kepp up there.

''But he gets the pop-up and then two punch-outs, and we get nothing, Maddon said. ''It's tough to not get anything out of the inning, because the kid looked comfortable after that.''

Smyly ended up allowing one run on four hits in four-plus innings. He walked three and struck out four.

''I had an awesome time out there,'' he said. ''Obviously, only going four innings isn't good. You want to go deep into the game, but I threw too many pitches. With everything going on, though, I feel pretty good about it.''

Brennan Boesch provided more than enough offense for the Tigers, driving in four runs on his 27th birthday as the Tigers improved to 5-1.

''Today was a lot of fun,'' Boesch said. ''It's my birthday, and we're going to have a fun flight to Chicago.''

POWER RANKINGS

See if your favorite team is pointed in the right direction this week.

Collin Balester (1-0) allowed one run in two innings of relief. Despite having the American League's best record, the Tigers do not have a win from their starting rotation. Against the Rays, five Tigers relievers combined to allow one run on three hits in five innings.

''They did an excellent job out there,'' said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. ''When you have a young starter out there, you know you are probably going to be into your bullpen. You might as well just accept that.''

The Tigers trailed 1-0 until scoring three runs off Jeff Niemann (0-1) in the fifth. Alex Avila walked and score on Andy Dirks' one-out triple. Ryan Raburn struck out, but Austin Jackson walked and stole second before Boesch's two-run single.

The Rays got a run back on Evan Longoria's RBI single in the seventh, but Keppinger lined into a double play and Phil Coke retired Ben Zobrist to end the inning.

''That's just one of those plays,'' Maddon said. ''We had plenty of chances to get runs today, but we didn't take them. Detroit was relentless today, and we weren't.''

Boesch hit another two-run single, this one off Jake McGee, in the bottom of the inning. Avila hit an RBI triple in the eighth, then scored Detroit's seventh run on a wild pitch.

Carlos Pena opened the scoring with a homer in the third. Smyly hit Pena with a pitch to lead off the fifth and was taken out for Balester.

Notes: Jeremy Hellickson, who was taken to a hospital after being hit in the head during batting practice Wednesday, passed a battery of tests and is expected to make his scheduled start on Saturday in Boston. ... The Tigers are starting the season with nine straight day games, the longest streak by an American League team since the White Sox in 2004. ... Rays catcher Jose Lobato left the game with shoulder soreness, but Maddon didn't think it was a serious.

Tagged: Jeff Keppinger, Ben Zobrist, Rays, Brennan Boesch, Tigers

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Yankees cautious with Tanaka injury Posted: Jul 11, 2014
Mike Francesa on how the Yankees will handle Masahiro Tanaka's rehabilitation fr...

Twins top Mariners Posted: Jul 11, 2014
Chris Parmelee comments on the Twins' 4-2 win over the Mariners.

Tigers dominate Royals Posted: Jul 11, 2014
Torii Hunter speaks on the Tigers' massive 16-4 win over the Royals.

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..