Seven runs over innings four and five for the Tampa Bay Rays (40-50) was plenty of firepower to topple the Detroit Tigers (48-36), 7-2, on Saturday at Comerica Park.
The Tampa Bay win was their second in a row against the Tigers during the four-game weekend series.
Annibal Sanchez (5-3, 3.18 ERA) got the nod for Detroit, and for the second straight game, wasn't able to find his strikeout pitches, as he struggled to get Rays' batters to swing and miss. After Saturday's start, Sanchez has just three strikeouts in his last 12.2 innings pitched over two starts (1-1).
The Tigers' righty didn't have much trouble retiring the Rays in the first chunk of his start, but the Rays were able to explode for seven runs on five hits over innings five and six, including a home run in the top of the fifth from Logan Forsythe (3rd). The offensive eruption gave the Rays a 7-0 lead after six innings.
The seven-run cushion was plenty for Tampa Bay, as Rays' starter Chris Archer (5-5, 3.16 ERA) was sensational on the hill. The 25-year-old pitched 8.1 strong innings for the Rays, while allowing just two Tigers' runs on six hits while striking out four.
One of the few bright spots for the Tigers on Saturday was the continued emergence of J.D. Martinez, who boosted his batting average to .325 on the season after hitting his 11th home run of the season in the 9th inning off Archer.
Martinez has logged hits in 22 of his last 24 games, and has boosted his batting average 83 points (.242 to .325) over the last 27 days.
The Tigers and Rays will cap off their four-game series tomorrow night at Comerica Park, as Rick Porcello looks to maintain his hot hand. He'll strive for his team-leading 12th win of the season and look to continue his run of dominice over his last two starts (2-0, 2 CG, 0 ER). The broadcast time is 7:40 pm on AM 590 WKZO.