Tigers Fall to Rays For Second Straight Night

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Rookie Evan Longoria homered and drove in three runs and right-hander Andy Sonnanstine won for the first time in nearly a month as the Tampa Bay Rays held on to their three-game lead in the AL East with a 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
Carl Crawford contributed a two-run single for the Rays, who have won four straight and set a franchise record for home wins in a season (42) before a sellout crowd of 36,048 at Tropicana Field.
At 65-44, they have the second-best record in baseball and are just one victory shy of matching their total for last year, when they were a major-league worst 66-96. They lead Boston by three games and third-place New York by 5 1-2 in the AL East.
Sonnanstine (11-6) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, ending a three-game losing streak in which he gave up 14 runs and 22 hits in 19 innings. He hadn't won since combining with J.P. Howell and Grant Balfour to shut out Kansas City on five hits July 5.
Longoria had a RBI double during a four-run second inning against Kenny Rogers (8-7) and a run-scoring single off Freddy Dolsi in the fourth. He led off the sixth against Casey Fossum with his 21st homer, tying Tampa Bay's record for a rookie.
The All-Star third baseman also homered in the Rays' 5-2 victory over Detroit on Friday night and has five in his past 14 games.
Miguel Cabrera was 3-for-3, including an RBI double off Al Reyes, for Detroit. Placido Polanco had an RBI double and Magglio Ordonez added a run-scoring single off Sonnanstine when the Tigers trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 4-2 in third.
But with Rogers struggling from the beginning, when he walked two and hit a batter to load the bases in the first inning, the Rays pulled away for good with three runs off the Tigers' starter in the fourth.
The 43-year-old left-hander gave up a RBI double to B.J. Upton before Crawford's two-run single and Longoria's double made it 4-0 in the second. Longoria's fourth-inning single off Dolsi drove in the sixth run charged to Rogers, who fanned a season-high eight while giving up seven runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Notes:@ Sharon Robinson, daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of African-American Celebration Night. ... The sellout, which could be attributed in part to a postgame concert featuring LL Cool J, was a club-record fifth this season. All of the tickets were gone by last Tuesday, making it the earliest the Rays have sold out a home game since their inaugural game in 1998. ... Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya has tenderness in his upper right arm-shoulder area and will not be available to pitch for at least a few days. ... The Rays have not decided if OF Rocco Baldelli, on the 60-day disabled list with a disorder that causes muscle fatigue, will be activated. He finished a rehab assignment at Double-A Montgomery on Friday night. If he returns, it most likely will be in a limited role, rather than an everyday player.

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