DETROIT (AP) — Brandon Lowe had a two-run home run among his three hits and drove in three runs as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2 Thursday night.
“It’s nice to swing the bat and not hurt,” said Lowe, who returned in mid-July from a back injury. “I didn’t realize how debilitating it had been until the pain wasn’t there any more.”
Randy Arozarena had four hits for Tampa Bay, which won back-to-back games for the first time since the All-Star break.
“Randy and Brandon are two guys that, when they get going, they can do a lot of damage in a hurry, and that’s what we saw tonight,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I was going to give (Arozarena) the day off tomorrow, but I think he just hit himself back into the lineup.”
Rays starter Jeffrey Springs (4-3) picked up the win, allowing two unearned runs in six innings. He struck out six without walking a batter.
Drew Hutchison (1-5) allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings as Detroit lost for the fifth time in six games.
The Rays took a 2-0 lead in the second on Lowe’s blast before Tampa Bay gave Detroit plenty of help to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.
After Daz Cameron singled, third baseman Yandy Diaz misplayed back-to-back grounders, loading the bases. Riley Greene made it 2-1 with a sacrifice fly and Javy Baez tied the game with a single.
“We have a really good defense, and Yandy has made a lot of plays to bail me, so that was really uncharacteristic,” Springs said. “I just kept making pitches, and I would have been happy if they hit 99 of the next 100 balls at Yandy. I hated giving up the lead, but the way we were swinging, I thought we were still in good shape.”
Baez’s 16th error of the season extended the third inning, and Lowe took advantage with a two-out RBI single before Diaz scored on a wild pitch.
“It is always going to be easier for any team to win when they play clean baseball,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We haven’t done enough of that this year, and it has come back to hurt us at times.”
Tampa Bay nearly made it 5-2 in the sixth, but Tigers left fielder Victor Reyes reached over the wall to grab Christian Bethancourt long out.
Reliever Alex Lange retired the first hitter in the seventh, but a pair of walks and a wild pitch gave the Rays runners on second and third with one out. Arozarena’s base hit gave the Rays a three-run lead.
“He gets a lot of swings and misses with his breaking stuff — he thrives on that,” Hinch said of Lange. “When he gets behind guys, like he did in that inning, they aren’t going to be chasing as much.”
Arozarena’s double in the ninth scored Ji-Man Choi with Tampa Bay’s seventh run.
“Randy had some good at-bats early, but the two at the end were huge because it gave us a little breathing room,” Cash said.
The Rays claimed RHP Jimmy Yacabonis off waivers from the Miami Marlins, and will make a corresponding roster move when he arrives in Detroit. He was 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in nine relief appearances with the Marlins this season.
BAEZ CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE
Baez made a second error in the 9th inning, giving a major-league-high 17 for the season. Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals entered Thursday with 15.
The teams continue their four-game series on Friday, with Corey Kluber (7-6, 4.03) facing Bryan Garcia (0-0, 4.91).
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