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Tigers 2, Rays 0: A different side of a shutout

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Tigers offense looks shaky, but defense and pitching get the job done

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers looked pretty good as they beat the Rays in shutout fashion. This ends a 38-game losing streak when scoring two runs or less.

Daniel Norris started the game, or opened if you prefer, and threw three shutout innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three during that time. His stuff was working at well, which was on display as he got Austin Meadows to swing right over an inside changeup below the zone in the third inning. Three innings was all the Tigers asked from Norris tonight and he delivered.

It was Drew VerHagen who came on in relief of Norris, who continued to have blister issues. No need to roll your eyes, this was the good version. VerHagen scattered three hits over five innings of work while striking out three and walking only one batter. It was easy to tell he had it working when he struck Guillermo Heredia out on a pretty hittable fastball. Either way, it worked.

The offense outscored the other team's offense, which is different. The two runs came on six hits, though only one hit ended in a run. We will get there. It is worth noting that the lineup struck out 13 times total, 10 of them to Charlie Morton. The other three came from Oliver Drake. Miguel Cabrera struck out four times, Niko Goodrum three times, and Harold Castro and Victor Reyes each struck out twice.

In the fourth inning, Dawel Lugo reached base on an error by Matt Duffy. A Niko Goodrum double allowed Lugo to reach third base. Then a passed ball brought Lugo home for the first run of the game. Run number two came in the eighth inning. Travis Demeritte led off the inning with a double on the recently recalled Pete Fairbanks, then a double from Jordy Mercer brought him home.

Joe Jimenez came in to close the door in the ninth and got it done, despite some trouble. After striking out Tommy Pham and inducing a groundout from Meadows things got dicey. He walked pinch hitter Ji-Man Choi, and allowed a single to Matt Duffy. That is as far as things would go as Jimenez struck out Eric Sogard to seal the victory.

The Good

Defense. Goodrum made some fantastic defensive plays, and Jake Rogers is still lightning quick from behind the plate.

The Bad

The offense did the job, but it wasn’t pretty. They only scored two runs and struck out 13 times. They were facing Charlie Morton though, so that will happen.

The Ugly

Jimenez got the job done, technically. But he took the count to three balls to four of the five hitters he faced. The only hitter who didn’t get to three balls hit a single on the second pitch of the at bat. But hey, it’s a win.