Rick Porcello showed some of the most dominant stuff in his dominating year and Victor Martinez hit a clutch two-out grand slam to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second straight night, 6-0, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. With the shutout, the Tigers claim their first series victory since sweeping the Colorado Rockies at Comerica Park from Aug. 1-3.
Porcello came into this season with just one complete game, he now has three this season, and all three have been a complete game shutout. Rick set down 20 Rays after allowing a double to the second batter of the game. He pitched to just three batters over the minimum, striking out four, walking none, and allowing three hits.
This was a much-needed start for the Tigers, who used several bullpen parts in their 11th inning victory on Tuesday night and have a double-header looming this weekend in Minnesota.
The Tigers grabbed the lead in the first inning when Miguel Cabrera hit a dribbler up the middle to reach with two outs. Victor Martinez doubled off Rays’ starter Jake Odorizzi and Miggy came all the way around from first to score the game’s first run.
Odorizzi settled down after that but got into trouble in the sixth inning when the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs, but Nick Castellanos bounced out to end the threat. It looked like Detroit would go down quietly one inning later after going two up, two down, but they had other ideas. Rajai Davis nearly hit it out to deep left center but settled for a double. Ian Kinsler singled, scoring Davis, making it 2-0.
Tampa Bay brought in Kevin Kiermaier in relief and he allowed a single to Torii Hunter and walk to Cabrera to load the bases once again. V-Mart was down 1-2 when he lined it way back into the seats in right field for a grand slam to put Detroit up 6-0.
It will be a very intriguing game to end the season series between the Tigers and Rays Thursday afternoon as David Price (12-8, 3.12) will face his former teammates for the first time since the July 31 trade that brought the ace to Detroit. He will be opposed by Alex Cobb (8-6, 3.19). The Tigers will be looking for their first sweep on the road since June 24-26 in Texas.