Through three innings, Detroit Tigers starter Kyle Lobstein looked sharp. Then, the wheels came off, and the Tigers lost a lopsided series finale to the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-0. Despite the loss, the Tigers won the three-game series with Tampa.
Lobstein retired the Rays in order in the first three innings, allowing just one single. The next three innings were a different game, though. Lobstein allowed four of the next six batters he faced to reach base, resulting in a 3-0 lead after four innings. He allowed two more runs before departing in the sixth, while relievers Buck Farmer and Jeff Ferrell combined to allow the other three Rays runs of the evening. The Rays hit four home runs, all solo shots.
Rays starter Jake Odorizzi continued his dominance over the Tigers with six strong innings, lowering his career ERA against Detroit to 1.93 in three starts. Their bullpen was just as strong, allowing a single hit in three scoreless innings. Still, the Tigers had their opportunities, but could not capitalize. They stranded seven baserunners, including four in scoring position.
To add injury to insult, Tigers righthander Buck Farmer left the game in the seventh inning with an apparent arm injury. Catcher Alex Avila noticed something in Farmer's delivery when he allowed a solo home run to Rays catcher J.P. Arencibia (the Rays' sixth run of the evening), and Farmer was removed before throwing another pitch. Fox Sports Detroit cameras showed Farmer gesturing to his right arm for pitching coach Jeff Jones as the two headed into the Tigers' clubhouse. Farmer was diagnosed with right forearm tightness, but was not given an immediate timetable for recovery.
Unfortunately, there were few bright spots in this game. Anthony Gose and Miguel Cabrera had decent games at the plate, but J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos both went hitless. Jose Valdez threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings, but he was the only Tigers pitcher to not allow a run. No one was thrown out on the basepaths. Small victories.
Steven Moya's arm: In a game with few bright spots, Moya atoned for a fielding mistake with a heads-up play, doubling off Brandon Guyer with an accurate throw to second after catching a routine fly ball in the eighth inning.
Jose Valdez: The only Tigers pitcher to not allow a run deserves a roar.
Pace of play: Tonight's game did not extend past midnight, which is more than we can say for Tuesday's wacky win.
Kyle Lobstein: The second time through the order spelled trouble for Lobstein, as he allowed five runs on seven hits. He struck out six, but allowed a pair of home runs to end his night.
Steven Moya's glove: I'm not sure what happened, but Moya allowed a deep but routine fly ball to right field bounce over the fence for a ground rule double.
The offense: There were a few opportunities, but the Tigers went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven runners on base.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Anthony Gose went 2-for-4 with a double. He has reached base in every game played this month, and has 11 hits in 31 at-bats.
- The Tigers have been shut out eight times this season. They were shut out 10 times in 2014.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: