DETROIT (AP) — Ramon Santiago’s RBI triple in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Detroit a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, keeping the Tigers in a virtual tie for first place on the eve of their big series against Cleveland.With one out in the 10th, Victor Martinez singled off Kyle Farnsworth (2-1). Santiago followed with a drive to the gap in right-centre. centre fielder B.J. Upton did his best to run the ball down, but Martinez scored just before the relay to the plate.
David Purcey (1-0) pitched the top of the 10th.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon and pitcher David Price were ejected after a close play at the plate in the seventh.
Detroit (36-30) begins a three-game series with Cleveland (35-29) on Tuesday night. The Tigers trailed the Indians by seven games on May 23.
Tampa Bay finished 6-5 on an 11-game road trip. The Rays were in Detroit for only one game — to make up for a May 25 rainout.
Magglio Ordonez returned to the lineup for Detroit after missing 28 games with a right ankle injury, and he made one of the game’s biggest plays. Trailing 1-0, the Rays had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh when Casey Kotchman lifted a flyball to right field. Ordonez caught it and threw to the plate on one bounce. Justin Ruggiano came sliding in but was called out by plate umpire John Tumpane.
Maddon came out to argue and was ejected. Moments later, Price — a starting pitcher with the day off — was also ejected from the dugout.
Replays showed Ruggiano may have initially missed home, but it was unclear whether catcher Alex Avila tagged him before the runner stuck his foot back toward the plate.
Tampa Bay tied it in the eighth when reliever Joaquin Benoit allowed one-out singles to pinch-hitter John Jaso, Johnny Damon and Ben Zobrist. Ruggiano’s sacrifice fly made it 1-1.
Damon set a Tampa Bay record by reaching base for a 38th consecutive game.
Martinez drove in the game’s first run with a fifth-inning single. Phil Coke pitched 6 1-3 innings for the Tigers, allowing four hits and striking out three.
Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb went 5 2-3 innings, allowing a run on eight hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Notes: There wasn’t a single ball in play in the ninth inning. Detroit’s Jose Valverde struck out the first two hitters of the top half before walking Kotchman. Pinch-runner Sam Fuld was thrown out stealing. Tampa Bay’s Juan Cruz struck out the side in the bottom half. … Maddon says he doesn’t think Boston OF Carl Crawford should receive a rude reception when Tampa Bay hosts the Red Sox on Tuesday night. Crawford left the Rays to sign a $142 million, seven-year contract with Boston in December. “This guy worked really hard to put himself in position to earn that kind of money,” Maddon said. “How could you ever begrudge that? Anybody, in their occupation, given the same set of circumstances or opportunities, would have done the same thing.” … Damon spoke a bit before the game about former teammate Derek Jeter’s pursuit of 3,000 hits. When asked when his own 3,000th might come, the 37-year-old Damon said: “If we do the calculations right, probably 2013 would be on the radar. Hopefully not 2014.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.