Tigers Blow 5-Run Lead Lose In 11 Innings

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Rays took advantage of the weakest link the Detroit Tigers had during their disappointing season.
Ben Zobrist hit a go-ahead single in a four-run eighth and had a solo homer in the 11th, lifting the Rays to an 8-7 win over the Tigers on Sunday.
Detroit failed to meet high expectations for many reasons, but its bullpen might've been the biggest culprit. Perhaps it was fitting that relievers lost a lead after the seventh inning for an unlucky 13th time in their home finale.
The Tigers probably wanted their season to mercifully end Sunday afternoon, but they had to fly to Chicago to play a makeup game on Monday because the White Sox had a shot to win the AL Central.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, earned the right to go home to rest and get ready to host the Minnesota Twins or the White Sox in its first playoff appearance after winning the AL East.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he would start right-hander James Shields, who started and threw only an inning Sunday, or lefty Scott Kazmir in the first two games of the ALDS, but he would not say who would be on the mound for Game 1.
Edwin Jackson (14-11) gave up two runs and four hits over two innings. Jason Hammell had his seconds save in as many opportunities.
Chris Lambert (1-2) pitched a perfect 10th inning, then allowed Zobrist to hit his fourth homer of the series to win the game.
Curtis Granderson put Detroit ahead 3-0 in the third with a three-run homer and Magglio Ordonez extended the game to extra innings with a two-run home run in the ninth.
Gary Sheffield, however, is stuck on 499 homers.
He had plenty of chances to become the 25th major leaguer to hit 500 homers, but finished 1-for-5 with a walk. He singled in the ninth and scored when Ordonez followed with his 21st homer.


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