Rays Can’t Overcome Early Deficit, Fall To Tigers 4-3

Tigers Jump On Yarbrough Early, Hold On Late

AP Photo: Scott Audette

St. Petersburg, FL – The Detroit Tigers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field in front of 22,921 fans. Jose Urena (4-8, 5.68 ERA) picks up the win and Michael Fulmer worked the 9th picking up his 10th save of the season. With the win the Tigers improve to 71-78 on the year. Ryan Yarbrough (8-6, 5.30 ERA) takes the loss for Tampa Bay who fall to 92-57 on the season. 

Tampa Bay put runners at first and second in the ninth off Tiger closer Michael Fulmer but Brett Phillips struck out and Yandy Diaz bounced into a double play to end the game. 

Entering the game, Ryan Yarbrough‘s had struggled during the second half of the season pitching to a 2-2 mark with a 7.50 ERA (35ER/42IP).  It appeared that those struggles were going to engulf him once again as he allowed three runs in the first inning and one in the second putting the Rays in a 4-0 hole. Fortunately for the Rays, and for Yarbrough’s confidence, he settled down to retire the final 13 batters he faced. Overall, he worked six innings allowing four earned runs on five hits while striking out four and walking none. 

Yarbrough hopes that the momentum he picked up as the game went on carries over moving forward. “Definitely something to get some momentum off of.” He said. “If anything it’s just a bad feeling that you let your team down those last couple outings. You know you’re working your ass off doing everything you can it’s not going your way.” 

Kevin Cash wants to see his guys performing well, especially here at the end of the season. Yarbrough, whose struggles in the second half have consumed him at times, is looking to right the ship.  “I do feel like he did some good things, strike throwing the pitch efficiency… I think he threw 24 pitches in the first inning which the hard hits came quickly.” Cash said. “He was able to keep his pitch count in order and get us deep in the ballgame and keep us in the ballgame which was very encouraging. It’s gone sideways a couple times on him as of late and he didn’t allow that to happen.” 

Detroit jumped on Yarbrough in the first inning as  Jeimer Candelario belted a 3-run homer to center and they extended their lead to 4-0 on a Dustin Garneau homer to to lead off the second inning. 

Jordan Luplow cut the Tigers lead in half delivering a 2-run homer in the bottom of the second inning. It was Luplow’s 11th homer on the season and fourth with Tampa Bay. Luplow’s homer came off Tiger starter Tarik Skubal who departed the game after three innings as he was on a pitch count/innings limit. He allowed two runs on two hits while striking out a pair.

Jose Urena replaced Skubal and walked Manuel Margot to open the home half of the fourth. Margot moved to third on a single by Jordan Luplow and scored on Ji-Man Choi‘s double play grounder cutting the Tigers lead to 4-3. 

Collin McHugh replaced Yarbrough in the seventh inning and retired the Tigers in order, JT Chargois worked a scoreless eighth and Joey Krehbiel worked the ninth. Krehbiel became the 60th player and 37th pitcher used by the Rays this season (both are franchise records). 


Rays top pitching prospect Shane Baz will be added to the taxi-squad on Sunday and will make his major league debut on Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham Baz has posted a 5-4 mark with a 2.06 ERA while striking out 12.9 batter per nine innings while walking just 1.5 batters per nine. Overall he has struck out 113 batters while walking just 13 in 78.2-innings.


Kevin Kiermaier was placed on the Covid-19 injury list as he battles “flu-like” symptoms. Joey Krehbiel was added to the roster from the Triple-A Durham Bulls to replace Kiermaier. Prior to the game, infielder Taylor Walls was replaced in the starting lineup for “general illness”. Chris Archer continues to seek second opinions for his hip soreness. Matt Wisler is slated to throw a side session on Thursday. Ryan Thompson traveled to Texas to get an MRI on his ailing shoulder. The MRI did not indicate any structural damage, but the soreness in the shoulder continues to persist. Nelson Cruz is being afforded additional time to rest his swollen forearm. Kevin Cash indicated that they do not want him playing and altering his swing to compensate for the general soreness in the forearm. 


Joey Krehbiel was a teammate with Brett Phillips at Seminole High School and committed to the University of South Florida (USF) before signing with the Los Angeles Angels as a 12th-round selection in the 2011 amateur draft.


Tampa Bay and Detroit will complete their four game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:10. The Rays are expected to activate Shane McClanahan (9-5, 3.59 ERA) off the injured list (back spasms).  Detroit will counter with right-hander Wily Peralta (3-3, 3.32 ERA).

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.