tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Friday, May 25, 2018
  • Home
Tampa Bay Rays

Tigers blast three homers in first inning, beat Rays 8-1

— Joe Maddon leaned on the legacy of Tommy Tutone, a one-hit wonder pop group from the 1980s, when filling out Thursday’s lineup, and the Rays actually fared better than the group.

They had two hits.

The Rays’ season-long five-game winning streak came to an abrupt end at Comerica Park. The surging Tigers saw to that with an 8-1 victory that included three first-inning home runs off starter Erik Bedard.

The Rays lost for just the second time during the first seven days of this 11-game, 10-day road trip.

“We weren’t going to win the rest of our games. I’m pretty sure of that,” Maddon said. “For me, it’s about winning series. I do anticipate us playing well (tonight).”

They Rays never had a chance against Tigers righty Max Scherzer, who allowed two hits, walked one, allowed a run and struck out seven in eight innings to win his 10th game of the season. It was the eighth time this year Scherzer has allowed one or zero runs.

That run came in the first inning when lead-off hitter Desmond Jennings doubled on the first pitch and scored on Evan Longoria’s sacrifice fly.

The Tigers, though, jumped all over Bedard, who became the 18th pitcher in franchise history to surrender three home runs in one inning, and only the third to do it in the first.

Austin Jackson began the first with a single. Ian Kinsler followed with a home run to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

Miguel Cabrera drew a walk, and Victor Martinez followed with a home run.

Bedard retired J.D. Martinez on a fly ball to right field before allowing another home run, this one to Torii Hunter to make it a 5-1 game.

“Five runs, that pretty much made it very difficult,” Maddon said.

Bedard joins Ryan Rupe (July 26, 2001, at Anaheim) and Paul Abbott (May 3, 2004, at Texas) as the only Rays pitchers to be tagged for three home runs in the first inning.

Bedard, coming off his best start, when he threw a season-high seven innings in Baltimore, fell behind often, and the Tigers made him pay.

“They took advantage of the counts and they scored a lot of runs,” he said.

Bedard lasted two innings. He allowed six runs on eight hits.

“Everything they hit was right on the screws,” Maddon said. “They were well struck.”

James Loney had the Rays’ second hit, a two-out single in the fourth inning.

Maddon started three rookies Thursday — Kevin Kiermaier in right field, Cole Figueroa at second base and Vince Belnome, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham earlier in the day, at designated hitter.

Belnome, who made his major-league debut, replaced left-hander Jeff Beliveau on the roster. Belnome was picked because he hits left-handed and the Rays wanted as many lefties in the lineup against Scherzer. Belnome was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

The position numbers of the first seven batters in Maddon’s lineup card were the same as the famous phone number in Tommy Tutone’s 1981 hit “867-5309/Jenny.”

That song made it to fourth on Billboard’s Top 100. It was Tommy Tutone’s only hit.

“Win or lose, though, it’s still a good gig,” Maddon said before the game.

The only positives from the game came from Cesar Ramos (31⁄3 innings) and Kirby Yates (22⁄3 innings). They followed Bedard and saved the rest of the bullpen.

“That’s one game out of a four-game series. Twenty-four hours can make a huge difference,” Maddon said. “We’re trying to win series. We lost the game, move it along. Move it along. We’ve been playing well, we’re going to play well (tonight).”

[email protected]

(813) 259-7227

Twitter: @RMooneyTBO

Weather Center