DETROIT —- The gray stormy clouds gathered over Comerica Park including the stormy cloud of controversy gathering over Jhonny Peralta.
The Tigers’ shortstop is being mention in a performance-enhancing drug scandal that includes Yankee Alex Rodriguez and Brewer Rod Braun along with seven other baseball players that may have been involved with Miami based anti-aging clinic that allegedly sold to players the drugs that are not approved by Major League baseball.
First of all though, the Detroit Tigers and manager Jim Leyland is hoping that the off-field distraction become just that a non-distraction and interrupt the focus of the Tigers and Peralta.
The Detroit Tigers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 and the Tigers did not waste a good outing by Max Scherzer because he kept his focus.
Scherzer worked seven innings for the Tigers and kept the Rays off-balance with his command of his pitches. He struck out nine and only giving up one earned run.
“Max was Max,” Leyland said about the performance of Scherzer. “Max was good.”
Detroit looking to take the three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday afternoon after dropping a good performance by Doug Fister, Tuesday night. Fister and the Tigers lost 3-0 to the Rays and it was the sixth time this season that the Tigers were shutout.
Tigers got on the scoreboard first in the fourth inning, scoring twice. Designator hitter Victor Martinez turned on a Tampa Bay’s starting pitcher, Roberto Hernandez’s slider and sent it over the right field fence for his fourth home run of the season, scoring Price Fielder from first base.
“It is important for us to come ready to play,” Martinez said. “I swing and I got a good thing!”
The Tigers scored a single run in the fifth inning when Miguel Cabrera hit a line drive into right center fielder sending Don Kelly home for the Tigers.
Martinez looked like he was going to continue the inning but his line drive found the webbing of Yunel Escobar’s glove to start an inning ending double play.
Tampa Bay scored in the sixth inning when Ben Zobrist worked a walk from Scherzer and with one out, Zobrist stole second base and came into score when James Loney hit a single into left field.
The Tigers got the run back in the sixth, when Peralta scored on a sacrifice fly bal hit by Avisail Garcia pinch hitting for Don Kelly. Peralta got on base by hitting a double off the right center field fence.
Omar Infante moved Peralta to third on a hard hit single into left field moving up Peralta and bringing up Kelly.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Madden went to the bullpen and made a change bringing in Jake McGee to relieve Hernandez and face Kelly. Leyland counter the move by putting Garcia in the game and Garcia lifted a McGee fastball into right field and Peralta scored.
Hernandez finished the game for the Rays working 5.1 innings giving up 10 hits, striking out six and giving up four runs.
McGee facing Cabrera in the seventh inning took a hard hit bouncing ball off of the left shin giving Cabrera a single and his third hit of the day. Madden and the Tampa Bay’s trainer went to the aid of McGee, and he was replaced by Jamey Wright.
Cabrera stole second base and scored the Tigers’ fifth run of the day coming home when Martinez hit a single into left field. Tampa Bay’s left fielder Sam Fuld’s throw miss the cut off and rolled into the waiting mitt of Jose Molina as Cabrera slid across the plate.
With Scherzer sitting on the bench at the start of the eighth inning being replaced by Leyland with Joaquin Benoit coming in from the Tigers’ bullpen.
Benoit second batter he faced, Zobrist walked for the second time of the game. Matt Joyce pop up to second base for the second out and it looked like Benoit was going to get out of the inning.
Longoria hit a long fly ball off of Benoit into right field that fell out of the reach of Torii Hunter and bounced into the seats for a ground rule double putting runners in scoring position for the Rays.
Loney hit a ball off of the end of the bat that Cabrera could not get to in time and Zobrist scored the run but Benoit calmed down and got Desmond Jennings to fly out to Dirks to end the inning.
Enter the ninth inning and on the mound for the Tigers closer, Jose Valverde, looking for a little redemption after blowing his last appearance against the Baltimore Orioles.
“Valverde is not going to panic,” Leyland said about Valverde last appearance against the Orioles. “ I am comfortable with him.”
Valverde used nine pitches and he ended the day for the Rays and picking up his seventh save of the season.
The sun came out and the gray sky disappeared as the Tigers celebrated a series win against the Tampa Bay Rays.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.