DETROIT —The Rays and Tigers went back and forth for eight-plus scoreless innings Sunday waiting for someone to get a big hit.
And then the Rays walked their way to a 7-0 win.
After getting two runners on in the top of the ninth, on a one-out Isaac Paredes single and two-out Francisco Mejia double, the Rays drew three consecutive walks from Tigers All-Star reliever Gregory Soto to score twice.
Jose Siri walked to load the bases. Yu Chang walked to force in the first run. Then Yandy Diaz, in an 0-for-20 skid, walked to make it 2-0.
They added on with run-scoring hits by Brandon Lowe, Randy Arozarena and Roman Quinn to score seven overall, their most prolific inning of the season.
The Rays had talked about making Sunday a bullpen game but seemed to back off that when they said Drew Rasmussen would make his start as scheduled. Turns out, they stuck to the original plan, limiting Rasmussen to three innings, during which he didn’t allow any hits, and then shuffling in six relievers.
The Rays improved to 58-50 and, by taking three of four from Detroit, won their first series in five since the All-Star break.
Rasmussen was quite sharp over his three innings, allowing no hits or walks while striking out two, throwing only 33 pitches. He retired his first eight hitters and faced the minimum nine as Akil Baddoo reached on an error by Paredes at second but was caught stealing by catcher Francisco Mejia.
Jalen Beeks followed and worked one inning. Brooks Raley threw two. Pete Fairbanks had the seventh, Colin Poche the eighth and Shawn Armstrong the ninth.
The Rays didn’t get their first hit off Tigers starter Matt Manning until two outs in the fourth. Paredes singled and Luke Raley did the same, but Mejia popped out.
After making five errors in their last five games, the Rays played some better defense.
Chang, getting a start at shortstop, made a good grab and throw home with the infield in to nab Riley Greene in the fourth. Arozarena made a leaping catch at the leftfield wall to rob a likely home run by Harold Castro to end the fourth. First baseman Ji-Man Choi jumped to corral a high throw from third baseman Diaz and got his foot on the base to prevent — after a replay review — a single by Victor Reyes in the eighth.
The Rays are off Monday and then open a two-game series in Milwaukee on Tuesday.©2022 Tampa Bay Times. Visit at tampabay.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.