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Tigers 5, Rays 1: Pelfrey sharp as Detroit sweeps, win streak reaches six

Offense awakens late to give Tigers a four game sweep in Tampa

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox
Mike Pelfrey gave up one run in 6-1/3 innings
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Mike Pelfrey held the Rays to one run in 6-1/3 innings and the Tigers offense awakened late in the game to give Detroit a sweep of the four-game series against Chris Archer in Tampa Bay. Pelfrey was denied the victory as the offense slept through seven innings, but the win pushed their winning streak to six games.

Detroit looked like they were going to get off to a promising start when they loaded the bases in the first inning on a pair of walks to Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera and a single by Jose Iglesias, but Archer struck out Victor Martinez, Nick Castellanos, and Justin Upton in order to escape damage. He then issued another walk but struck out the side in the second inning to make it six strikeouts.

Mike Pelfrey set the Rays down in order in the bottom of the first to keep the game scoreless after the first frame. A bunt single in the second inning, an infield single in the third, and a walk in the fourth gave the Rays their first base runners but Pelfrey kept them off the board through four frames with five ground outs and three strikeouts on just 44 pitches.

Archer settled down, allowing just a single to Justin Upton in the fourth inning while holding the Tigers scoreless with nine strikeouts through five innings.

The Rays opened the scoring in the fifth inning with a single by Nick Franklin and a double down the right field line by former Tiger Curt Casali.

Iglesias led off the sixth inning with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third base on a fielder’s choice. When Archer hit Castellanos on the hand, his day was done, leaving runners on first and third with two outs and the Rays leading, 1- 0. Matt Andriese got Upton to line out sharply to shortstop to end the Tigers’ threat.

Steven Moya displayed some defensive heroics in the sixth inning. With Logan Morrison on first after a bunt single, Moya made a stumbling diving shoestring catch on a ball destined for the right field corner, got up and doubled Lo Mo off first to end the Rays’ scoring threat. Still 1- 0 Rays after six innings.

Pelfrey gave up a double to Corey Dickerson off the top of the wall in the seventh inning, followed by back-to-back walks before Brad Ausmus replaced him with Bruce Rondon with the bases loaded and one out. He struck out Logan Forsyth and got Brad Miller to fly out, leaving the bases loaded.

With Pelfrey safely out of the game, the Tigers’ offense came to life in the eighth inning. Kinsler led off with a double, and after Cabrera was intentionally walked, Victor Martinez reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Cabrera at second but Kinsler charged all the way home with the tying run. After Castellanos singled, Upton ripped a double into the gap in left center field to drive in two runs and put the Tigers up, 3- 1.

The Tigers expanded their lead in the ninth on a two-run homer by Ian Kinsler, his 16th of the season and 200th of his career to make it 5- 1 for Detroit.

Shane Greene relieved Rondon to start the eighth, retiring the side in order with a pair of strikeouts. Kyle Ryan retired the Rays in the ninth to preserve the win.


Mike Pelfrey - six innings of one run ball including four frames allowing just two infield singles.

Ian Kinsler - heads-up base running to tie the game in the eighth and a two-run blast in the ninth to seal the victory.

Jose Iglesias - a pair of hits while the rest of the offense was on strike.

Steven Moya - a diving shoestring catch to keep the game at 1- 0 in the sixth.


Nick Castellanos - hacked at two pitches outside the strike zone, whiffing with the bases loaded and Archer struggling to find the plate. He did the same to lead off the fourth inning with Archer’s pitch count climbing.

Stats and streaks:
  • Archer had allowed 19 runs in 17 starts in the first inning this season for an ERA of 10.06.
  • Upton was caught stealing for the first time this season, and is now 5 for 6 in steal attempts.

Win Probability Chart

Source: FanGraphs