The Tigers and Rays have faced each other enough times over the last week or so that pitchers and hitters have seen each other multiple times. But their latest matchup Friday night had the kind of surprise ending that has been rare for the Tigers this year, but all too familiar for the Rays.
Of all the progress the Tigers had shown this year, there was the bullpen behind closer Gregory Soto. Detroit had lost only once this season when leading in the ninth inning. But no team creates late-inning fear like the Rays, whose three-run ninth tied the game for Brett Phillips’ homer in the 10th, sending the Tigers to a 7-4 loss on Friday night at Tropicana Field.