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Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
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Tampa Bay Rays

Cabrera, Tigers blast past Rays

ST. PETERSBURG From Miguel Cabrera's second swing of the game to Kelly Johnson running out to play third base in the third inning, things just didn't go right Friday night for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Evan Longoria left the game in the bottom of the second inning after irritating the plantar fasciitis in his right foot while running out a ground ball up the middle in his first at-bat. He will be evaluated today and likely won't be in tonight's lineup after leaving Tropicana Field with his right foot in a boot. Rays manager Joe Maddon said it is possible Longoria won't play Sunday, either.
Cabrera will return tonight, though, and that's not good news for the Rays.
The Detroit Tigers third baseman hit two home runs as part of his four-hit night and drove in three runs in the Tigers' 6-3 victory in front of 17,645 fans at Tropicana Field.
It was the Tigers' 15th win against the Rays in their last 19 meetings, including three in four games this season.
"They were good," Maddon said. "They got us. They absolutely got us."
Prince Fielder hit a mammoth two-run homer in the eighth inning off Cesar Ramos that struck the C-Ring catwalk in right field on the way down and put the finishing touches on the Tigers' victory.
"The home run by Fielder was really no fun at all," Maddon said.
It was Fielder's first home run since June 4, when he took Jamey Wright deep in Detroit.
The Rays trailed 4-0 in the middle of the fourth inning but had chipped away at the Tigers lead when Fielder delivered a pair of insurance runs.
Ben Zobrist and Wil Myers homered to make it 4-2. And Myers, who reached on a two-out single in the seventh, scored from first base when Luke Scott doubled into the right-field corner to make it a one-run game.
Alex Colome, pitching for his spot in the rotation now that David Price is set to return from the disabled list Tuesday, gave the Rays six innings. He allowed four runs on four hits, but two of those hits were Cabrera home runs, and both were long and loud.
The first came in the top of the first inning. With Austin Jackson on first base after a lead-off walk, Cabrera jumped on the second pitch of the at-bat and hit it into the left-field seats for his 23rd home run of the season and his 79th and 80th RBIs.
Cabrera opened the fourth inning by hitting a 432-foot homer to left-center off Colome.
Colome said the first homer came off a change-up, the second off a cutter.
Neither pitch was well-located.
"Those were bad pitches, badly located," Maddon said. "The same pitch located better would not be hit out of the ball park. He got them up in his swing zone, he did not miss it. When you get a hitter of Cabrera's caliber, that's the whole point. If you make a mistake, he's going to hit it more often than the other guy."
Meanwhile, Detroit starter Max Scherzer breezed through the Rays order, retiring the first nine batters he faced. He needed five pitches to get the first two outs of the fourth inning before Zobrist broke up the perfect game, the no-hitter and the shutout with his fifth home run of the season.
Myers hit his third home run of the year in the fifth inning.
"When they've made mistakes against (Myers) he's hit it really, really well," Maddon said. "That ball was cranked. When you make a mistake with him he doesn't miss it, he doesn't foul it off."
Scherzer went seven innings, allowed four hits and the three runs and improved to 12-0.
"There's a reason why he's 12-0," Maddon said. "He's very good."
Scherezer is the first major-league pitcher to begin a season 12-0 since Roger Clemens started 14-0 for the Boston Red Sox in 1986.
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