The Tigers scored just two runs through the first eight innings and seemed destined to drop the series opener. Jordan Zimmermann is still not back to his early-season form, and an all-around unlucky third inning gave the Rays a 5-0 lead that looked more than safe for most of the contest. However, the Tigers' offense found a different gear with their backs against the wall, scoring eight runs in the ninth inning to steal a 10-7 win.
It was not the most dominant start to the game for Zimmermann, but he certainly was not as poor as the scoreboard indicated. An early error, a couple of very close plays at first base, and a three-run bloop double helped Tampa score five runs against Zimmermann through the first three innings.
However, it was a foul ball that caused the most distress for the Tigers’ starter. Instead of an easy catch in foul territory to end the inning, the ball hit off one of the catwalks and instantly became dead. The inning was extended and the Rays wound up scoring four two-out runs.
Meanwhile the Tigers’ offense was barely making any noise, as Rays’ starter Jake Odorizzi looked in control, notching seven strikeouts through the first five frames. However, with the score still 5-0 entering the sixth inning, the bats finally got the Tigers on the board. Ian Kinsler opened the scoring with an RBI single and Cameron Maybin added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.
The Tigers entered the ninth inning down 7-2, but then the unimaginable happened. The sequence went single, single, RBI-single, single, single, sacrifice fly, single, walk, bases-loaded walk, 3-run double. That would be six singles, two walks, a double, and a sac fly to start the frame. Francisco Rodriguez closed the door in the bottom of the ninth to cap one of the more exciting games you will ever see.
Ninth inning rally: THAT. WAS. AMAZING.
Tropicana Field: Baseball stadiums should not have random parts of their buildings interfering with foul balls.
STATS AND INFO:
- The Rays had a 99.5% win probability in the bottom of the eighth inning. They did not win the game.
- Maybin’s sacrifice fly was his first in 39 games with the Tigers this season.
- For the second time in six games, Cabrera ground into two double plays. He had not done so at all during the previous 73.
This is first Tigers 5-run comeback in 9th inning since May 28, 1998 vs. CHW. Also entered 9th trailing 7-2 in that game. (h/t @STATS_MLB)— Austin Drake (@austin_drake) July 1, 2016
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: