Defensive miscues set the tone for the Tigers’ demise, as they committed three errors. It was smooth sailing for Spencer Turnbull through the first two innings, until a wayward throw to third base on an Austin Meadows triple allowed him to come home to open the night’s scoring in the third inning. After an Avisail Garcia RBI double in the fifth inning, a fielding error by JaCoby Jones on a Ji-Man Choi base hit would allow Garcia to come around to score, making it 3-0. The Rays would add another as a Harold Castro throwing error to first base turned an inning-ending double play into a 4-0 Rays lead in the eighth.
The Tigers struggled to generate any offense against Rays pitching, as starter Charlie Morton charmed their bats over seven shutout innings, surrendering five hits while painting the corners of the strike zone with Picasso-like precision to the tune of eight strikeouts while throwing just 83 pitches (55 strikes).
Oliver Drake would carry the flag for the Rays over the last two innings, keeping the Tigers at bay and securing the Rays’ 36th win of the season.
First baseman turned right-handed reliever Nick Ramirez, despite some wildness and with the help of some good defense behind him, put together another solid appearance out of the Tigers’ bullpen. His scoreless inning lowered his ERA to 2.37 on the season in seven appearances.
Blaine Hardy (IP, BB) and Austin Adams (IP, H) also managed to keep the Rays at bay, while Zac Reininger (IP, 2 BB, R) struggled with command and fell victim to a bad defensive break behind him.
With his single in the third inning of Wednesday’s game, JaCoby Jones extended his hitting streak to a career-long eleven games. After a cold start, his numbers as of late have looked much more favorable:
JaCoby Jones. 11-game hitting streak.— Cody Stavenhagen (@CodyStavenhagen) June 5, 2019
He entered tonight slashing .421/.463/.737 over the past 10 games, and he's really been good for the past three weeks.
The Tigers will look to take the rubber game of the series on Thursday afternoon, where Daniel Norris will look to rebound after his latest start as he takes the mound against a yet to-be-determined Rays starting pitcher. First pitch is slated for 1:10 p.m. at Comerica Park.