Thursday afternoon’s game between the Detroit Tigers and the Tampa Bay Rays was the definition of a pitcher’s dual, as the David Price received no run support from a sputtering Tigers (68-57) offense, who produced just four hits total off the Rays’ (62-65) pitching staff.
Tampa Bay scored one run in the first inning off a Brandon Guyer triple down the right field line that plated utility man Ben Zobrist. Detroit was unable to put together a major threat against Rays starter Alex Cobb, making that first inning run all that was needed to claim the victory for the home team. Cobb threw seven strong innings, allowing just two hits and walking two batters while striking out six, as his command of the strike zone was phenomenal all afternoon.
The Tigers biggest threat came in the top of the seventh inning with Cobb on the mound. Torii Hunter led the inning off with a double followed by a Miguel Cabrera groundout that pushed Hunter over to third. This brought a coaching visit to the mound, which then led to a Victor Martinez intentional walk. J.D. Martinez would follow with a strikeout, and Nick Castellanos flied out to Desmond Jennings out in center field to end the inning.
David Price faced his old team, and it looked as if he was very familiar with the Joe Maddon‘s lineup, as the former Cy Young Award winner allowed only the first inning run while striking out nine batters and walking none, lowering his ERA to 3.00 between both the Rays and the Tigers in 2014.
The Tigers were unable to sweep the under-achieving Rays in Tampa Bay, but it was their first series win since the first weekend of August. Detroit continues its road trip north to Minnesota, as they take on the Twins in a four-game series that includes a double-header on Saturday at Target Field. The first game of the series is set for Friday at 8:10 p.m. with a couple of left-handers matching up. Rookie Robbie Ray (1-3, 5.33 ERA) takes on Tommy Milone (0-1, 9.82 ERA) who was recently acquired for Sam Fuld to help bolster the Twins’ starting rotation.