Rays come up short vs. Tigers, 10-2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays had no answers for Michael Fulmer or Victor Martinez, the two Detroit Tigers who did most of the damage in Friday night's 10-2 loss, the Rays' 14th in 16 games.
Fulmer, a rookie right-hander, gave up two hits in seven shutout innings. Martinez hit three-run homers from both side of the plate and the Tigers won their fourth straight.
''It's a good team over there,'' Rays starter Drew Smyly said. ''Their pitcher pitched better than I did, and they won.''
Fulmer (8-2) became the first Detroit pitcher since 1913 to give up one run or fewer in eight straight starts.
''It's pretty cool,'' said Fulmer of his streak, during which he is 6-1 with a 0.53 ERA. ''My mind is just to a win a ball game anyway I can so if I can throw up zeroes, that's just a bonus. It's a team game, and the way we're playing right now, with the offense putting up 10 runs a night, it makes everybody else just relax and have fun playing this game.''
Fulmer struck out 10 and walked one, giving up singles to Cory Dickerson in the second inning and Logan Morrison in the seventh.
''He's good, there's no doubt about it,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ''He pitches in, some really late life. I totally understand the success that he's having this year.''
Cameron Maybin's two-run single off Smyly made it 3-0 in the sixth, extending his hitting streak to seven games during which the center fielder is hitting .500 (14 for 28) with nine RBIs.
Martinez's 15th home run came off reliever Danny Farquhar in the seventh. His 16th was off Enny Romero in the ninth, marking his third multi-homer game since June 16.
Smyly (2-9) gave up six hits and four earned runs while striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander has failed to win all eight of his starts since May 16.
Brad Miller homered to drive in both Rays runs in the ninth.
INF/OF Taylor Motter got the final out for Tampa Bay, becoming the sixth position player to pitch for the Rays.
Tigers: OF J.D. Martinez feels no pain in the fractured right elbow that is expected to keep him on the DL at least two more weeks. Martinez is ''basically trying to stay in shape'' with work in the weight room, according to manager Brad Ausmus.
Rays: OF Desmond Jennings, who left Thursday's game with left hamstring tightness, was out of the lineup Friday and is day to day. ... RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) said he doesn't know yet if he will start a rehab assignment next week. ... INF Steve Pearce (strained right hamstring) has started hitting off a tee. ... Closer Alex Colome (right biceps tendinitis) could throw off a mound Sunday.
LOOKING AHEAD (RAYS) AND BACK (TIGERS)
Cash is trying not to dwell on Thursday night's 10-7 loss, a game in which the Tigers scored eight in the ninth inning. ''All the losses hurt - that one stung, there's no doubt,'' Cash said. ''It was pretty devastating. At the same time it counts as one loss, it doesn't count as five.'' ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time the Tigers overcame a five-run deficit in the ninth inning to win a road game since July 7, 1922.
Rays: OF Jaff Decker, designated for assignment Wednesday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Durham. . . . Motter was optioned to Durham after the game to open a roster spot for Steven Souza, who will be reinstated from the 15-day DL Saturday.
Detroit's Justin Verlander (7-6) will make his 335th career start Saturday against Tampa Bay rookie Blake Snell, who is 1-2 after four starts.