The Rays simply can not catch a break these days. Saturday night was no exception, as the Rays' 1979 throwback unis did not provide much good luck.
Jeremy Hellickson returned from the DL, and had his outing end much earlier than he liked.
In the top of the third, with the game scoreless, Prince Fielder lined a rocket-shot RBI groundout off Hellickson's shin give Detroit a 1-0 lead. Hellickson was then removed from the game before facing the next batter, and replaced by J.P. Howell.
The Rays' bullpen did a great job of holding the game at 1-0 until the eighth. Howell, Wade Davis, and Kyle Farnsworth (season debut) combined for 4.1 scoreless innings of work.
The game was finally broken open in the eighth, when Joel Peralta (first game back from suspension) gave up the big three-run blast to Austin Jackson.
Down 4-0, the Rays started to chip away and finally get on the board in the bottom half of the inning. After failing to score off of Rick Porcello in his seven-inning outing, the Rays got a pair of solo jacks of former Ray Joakim Benoit. The first home run was from Jeff Keppinger, who came into the game as a pinch hitter. The second home run was off the bat of Carlos Pena.
The Tigers would get those two runs back in the top of the ninth, however, as a Jhonny Perlata two-run single made it a 6-2 game.
That would be the final score, as the Rays were shutout in the ninth.
The Rays fall to 41-37 on the season, and are now 6.5 games behind the Yankees who won Saturday. The Rays are still tied with the Red Sox, though, who lost their game. The O's also fell, and remain just 1.5 games up on Tampa Bay.
Notable Stat Lines:
- J. Hellickson: 4 H, ER, K, BB through 2.2 IP
- J.P. Howell: 2 H, 0 R, K, BB through 2 IP
- K. Farnsworth: H, 0 R, 2 K, BB through 1 IP
- C. Pena: 2-4, HR, R, RBI
- J. Keppinger: 1-1, HR, R, RBI
Rays News and Notes:
- The 2012 All-Stars will be selected today at 1 PM. Fernando Rodney and David Price seem to be locks to represent the Rays at the moment. Alex Sommers analyzed the Rays' potential All-Stars yesterday.
- One scout suggested that Chicago's Alfonso Soriano could be a potential fit for the Rays, per Jon Heyman. I'm not sure how that would work, but we'll see what the Rays do as we approach the deadline.
- David Price (back tightness) seems to fine and will go on with his usual mid-start bullpen session today.
- Durham closer Dane De La Rosa was selected to the Triple-A All-Star game, and will be the only player representing the Bulls in Durham (hosting the game). Leslie Anderson, who maybe deserved a spot, just apparently just missed the cut.
- The Rays will try to split the four-game set in the series finale today; first pitch at 1:40 ET. Alex Cobb (3-4, 4.73) will square off against Drew Smyly (2-3, 4.48).