C.J. Cron broke a scoreless deadlock with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth and the Tampa Bay Rays held off the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on Monday night.
Cron crushed a 2-0 pitch to the opposite field off Tigers closer Shane Greene (1-2) after Greene issued a leadoff walk to Denard Span. Cron’s homer was his seventh this season. Brad Miller added a solo shot one out later off Greene as the Rays won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Jacob Faria tossed eight innings to pick up the win. Faria (2-1) gave up just three hits and a walk while striking out six. Jose Alvarado got the last two outs for his first major league save.
Rays reliever Chaz Roe couldn’t close the deal in the ninth. After retiring one batter, he hit two others with pitches, sandwiching an infield hit by Jeimer Candelario. Victor Martinez drove in two runs with a single off Alvarado.
James McCann flied out before John Hicks drew a walk to load the bases. Alvarado then retired Dixon Machado on a fielder’s choice ground ball to end the game.
Jordan Zimmermann matched Faria for seven innings, holding the Rays to two hits and a walk while striking out five.
Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera was not in the lineup after exiting Sunday’s game at Baltimore with a left bicep spasm.
The Tigers have been involved in an inordinate amount of low-scoring games this season. They’ve already had four 1-0 games, a 2-0 outcome and a 2-1 decision.
No one reached second base until the bottom of the third, when Detroit’s Jose Iglesias rapped a one-out, ground-rule double. He advanced to third on a groundout by Victor Reyes, but Faria then struck out JaCoby Jones.
The Tigers threatened the following inning on Nicholas Castellanos’ double to left. Martinez grounded out and, after Castellanos advanced to third on a wild pitch, Faria struck out McCann.
Tampa Bay finally got a runner into scoring position in the seventh when Matt Duffy led off with a single and moved up on a groundout. Daniel Robertson’s long fly advanced him to third but Zimmermann retired Joey Wendle on a groundout.
—Field Level Media