Castellanos leads Tigers to 13-4 rout of Rays
DETROIT (AP) — For a team struggling to get above .500, the Detroit Tigers looked like a pennant contender on Friday night.
The Tigers got 13 hits, including seven for extra bases, and made several key defensive plays in a 13-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“That might be the best game we’ve played all year,” Ian Kinsler said.
Nicholas Castellanos drove in four runs and Justin Upton drove in three, while Kinsler and Alex Avila homered.
Daniel Norris (4-4) got the win, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk in six-plus innings.
“I think one walk was the key there,” he said. “When I’m putting the ball in the strike zone, I can attack on a consistent basis.”
Erasmo Ramirez (3-2) matched a career worst by allowing 10 runs on nine hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings.
“That’s a great lineup and I was missing pitches,” he said. “That’s always dangerous.”
Kinsler hit the 43rd lead-off homer off his career in the first. That broke a tie with Curtis Granderson for sixth on the career list and moved him one behind Brady Anderson.
“The only thing that proves is I’ve led off a lot of games,” he said.
Tampa Bay tied the game in the third. Peter Bourjos tripled with one out and Steven Souza Jr. followed with a grounder to third. Castellanos threw wildly to the plate, allowing Souza to take second,
The Rays took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Daniel Robertson’s RBI single.
The Tigers took over the game at that point, scoring five runs in each of the next two innings to take an 11-2 lead.
Avila led off the bottom of the fourth with his 10th homer. After a walk to Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez singled and Upton lined an RBI double over the head of Smith in centerfield. Castellanos doubled down the left-field line to give the Tigers a three-run lead.
Alex Presley’s infield single gave the Tigers six straight baserunners to start the inning, but James McCann ended the streak with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2.
Jose Iglesias received a standing ovation after two spectacular defensive plays in the fifth. He charged a slow roller and threw out Bourjos, then sprinted straight back into left-centerfield to make an over-the-shoulder catch on Souza’s pop up. The cheers continued when Upton reached over the left-field fence to rob the next hitter, Corey Dickerson, of a home run.
“I told Iggy that as sick as the play on Souza was, the play on Bourjos might have been better, given the way that guy runs,” Norris said. “Then J-Up pulls back a homer. That’s a good feeling as a pitcher.”
The Tigers kept hitting in the fifth, with Upton’s two-run single putting them up 8-2. Tim Beckham’s throwing error later in the inning allowed two more runs to score.
Rays: Despite his ugly pitching line, Ramirez didn’t leave the game until his hamstring cramped after a grounder back to the mound. After making the play, he was examined by the training staff and replaced by Austin Pruitt.
Tigers: DH Victor Martinez was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an irregular heartbeat. The problem caused him to leave Thursday’s game in the seventh inning, and he was still in the hospital on Friday night. The team is expecting to have further updates on Saturday.
THE IGLESIAS SHOW
Ausmus broke into the majors as a player in 1993, but said that he’s never seen a shortstop with the same range as Iglesias on balls flared over his head. StatCast said that he ran 88 feet to make the over-the-shoulder catch against Souza in the fifth.
“That’s a tougher play than anyone realizes, because he’s got to get the right spot and make a tough catch with two outfielders running full speed at him,” he said. “He just has a knack of getting to the ball and avoiding everything else.”
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (4-4, 3.80) will try to get the Rays a win in the third game of the four-game weekend series on Saturday. Archer had a no-decision against the Tigers on April 19, striking out nine in five innings but allowing four runs.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer (6-4, 3.40) will attempt to continue his dominance of the Rays on Saturday. He’s 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 20 innings in three starts against Tampa Bay, although the loss and three of four earned runs came in Tampa Bay on April 18.