Tigers Beat Tampa Bay Again

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- The Rays waited into the night to see what would happen in a rain-interrupted game in Boston that could give Tampa Bay the AL East crown despite a second straight loss.
Gary Sheffield hit two home runs and Ramon Santiago also went deep to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 6-4 win over the Rays on Friday night.
"We were definitely disappointed, it would have been nice to win it on the field," said Carlos Pena. "We'll see what happens."
The Rays' magic number for winning the AL East is one, pending the outcome of the New York Yankees' game against the Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay would win the division with a Boston loss.
The Yankees had a big lead in the game, which had been delayed by rain, but had resumed.
Manager Joe Maddon and a few of the players remained in the clubhouse at Comerica Park, some went to watch the game at Detroit's MGM Grand and others went back to the team hotel.
"We'll see what happens," Maddon said. "If the party breaks out, I'll be here."
It would be the first division title in Rays' franchise history. The team already clinched the first playoff appearance in its history.
Sheffield, who returned from a four-game suspension for fighting with Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona, has 499 career home runs.
"It wasn't something I thought about," Sheffield said about the 500-home run milestone.
Santiago homered for the third time in two days.
Magglio Ordonez drove in two runs for Detroit, which beat Tampa Bay 7-5 on Thursday.
B.J. Upton homered and drove in two runs for the Rays.
Justin Verlander (11-17) won his first game since Aug. 22. He allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, walking three and striking out eight.
"I couldn't command my fastball," Verlander said.
Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 18 chances. He allowed a run on first baseman Miguel Cabrera's error, but escaped a second and third, two-out jam by getting Jason Bartlett to fly out.
Andy Sonnanstine (13-9) gave up five runs on five hits in 5 2-3 innings for the Rays, walking five and striking out seven.
"A little erratic at the start," she said. "And by the time I got things straightened out, it was to late."
Detroit won despite losing Placido Polanco in the first inning, when the second baseman slid into home and sprained his left ankle.
He rolled over and writhed in pain after sliding across the plate and beating the tag by catcher Dioner Navarro. X-rays were negative and Polanco, hitting .307 with eight home runs and 58 RBI, was scheduled to be re-evaluated Saturday.
After Ordonez's two-run double, Detroit pushed its lead to 3-0 on Sheffield's first home run. Santiago added a two-run shot in the second.
Tampa Bay got on the board in the third on Upton's fielder's choice grounder, and Pena's two-out RBI single in the fifth closed the gap to 5-2. Upton's ninth homer of the season made it 5-3 in the seventh.
Sheffield added his second homer and 19th of the season in the eighth.


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