One had to figure that tonight’s game against Tigers starter Max Scherzer would be a test for the Rays. They were sending Alex Colome to the mound for only his third career start, Wil Myers had been hitting well as of late, and the Rays had been staying on the fringes of contention. A strong showing or, even better, a win against the undefeated Scherzer would certainly help the cause.
Unfortunately, the Tigers got to Colome almost immediately. With one out and a runner on first, reigning American League MVP and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera came to the plate, and proceeded to treat Colome as he has virtually every other pitcher this season, crushing a home run to left to put the Tigers on top 2-0 before the fans could get comfortable. Cabrera struck again in the third, belting another homer to lead off the inning, as he had almost as many home runs (2) as pitches seen (3) at that point.
The Tigers added another run in the inning as Prince Fielder followed with a double, and moved to third on a line out to right when Wil Myers made a lackadaisical throw back to the infield. After a big strikeout for the second out, Colome seemed as though he may be able to get through the inning without further damage, but he pulled a fastball out of Jose Lobaton‘s reach for a wild pitch, allowing Fielder to score.
The Rays appeared to be in trouble. Already, Evan Longoria had left the game after his at bat in the bottom of the second, as he hobbled slightly following a groundout and was removed due to a flare up of of his plantar fasciitus. Scherzer had yet to give up a baserunner, never mind a hit, into the fourth inning. Things were not looking good for the Rays.
Then, in the fourth, they got a spark of life. Ben Zobrist deposited the first pitch of the at bat that he saw into the right field stands, ending the perfect game, no hitter and shutout in one fell swoop. In the fifth, Myers showed his ability to make adjustments, as he deposited a Scherzer slider into left after he struck out on the same pitch in his previous at bat. Myers’ drive cut the lead to 4-2, and the Rays had grabbed the momentum.
With two outs in the seventh, The Rays got closer. Myers singled on a pitch away, and Luke Scott followed with a double down the line. Myers scored from first, cutting the Tigers lead to one. It began to feel as though the comeback was inevitable.
However, the Tigers had other plans. Cabrera continued to show why he may be the best hitter on the planet, crushing a double to deep center off Kyle Farnsworth. Farnsworth was lifted for Cesar Ramos, who promptly gave up a two run shot to Fielder as the Tigers jumped back out to a 6-3 lead. The Rays were unable to get any closer, falling by the same score.
Colome pitched reasonably well, despite taking the loss. Overall, he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks, striking out two. Take Cabrera out of the equation, and Colome only gave up one hit to the rest of the Tigers lineup. Myers was 2-4 with two runs scored and a solo home run in the loss.