The Detroit Tigers got off to a good start when second baseman Ian Kinsler led off the first inning with a home run to left field off Tampa Bay Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez. Tigers starter Daniel Norris took the mound in the bottom of the inning with a 1-0 lead and promptly surrendered a double to right fielder Steven Souza, Jr. on the first pitch. Souza scored on a throwing error by shortstop Dixon Machado (starting for the injured Jose Iglesias) three batters later.
Tampa Bay tagged Norris for three more runs in the second inning, when four consecutive Rays reached base before first baseman Rickie Weeks, Jr. struck out swinging to end the inning.
Warwick Saupold relieved Norris with two outs in the fifth, and retired the first four batters he faced before giving up a home run to center fielder Kevin Kiermaier. It all went (farther) downhill from there, and the Tigers couldn’t catch up.
The Tigers put together a mini-rally in the eighth inning when they had two runners on with two outs, but left fielder Tyler Collins struck out looking to end the inning. They strung together a couple of hits in the ninth as well, but it was a classic case of too-little, too-late.
Ian Kinsler: He was responsible for the Tigers’ first and only run way back in the first inning.
JaCoby Jones’ defense: Jones made a leaping catch at the center field wall in the seventh to rob an extra-base hit from Rays third baseman Evan Longoria
Daniel Norris: He struggled all afternoon. He faced 25 batters in 4 2⁄3 innings, gave up eight hits, two walks, five runs (four earned) and struck out only two.
Warwick Saupold: He started off OK, then threw batting practice, basically. He gave up three home runs in 3 1⁄3 innings of work.
Tigers offense: Too many 1-2-3 innings — the Tigers went down in order five times. They didn’t have more than one baserunner in an inning until the seventh.
STATS AND INFO:
- The Tigers had not been swept by the Rays since July of 2010, and this is the Tigers’ first series loss of the season.
- Norris gave up more than three earned runs for the first time since Sept 29, 2015.
- Saupold was sent down to Toledo after the game, and Blaine Hardy was recalled.