The Rays got off to a bad start in the first of a four game series against the Tigers on Thursday. Erik Bedard got lit up for 6 earned runs and made it through just 2 innings in the 8-1 loss. He would allow 8 hits, 3 of which were home runs in the 1st inning, and struck out none while walking 2. It certainly was not the start that the Rays were hoping for given the fact that they could look into trading Bedard. Defending AL Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer was the polar opposite of Bedard, shutting down the Rays offense and only allowing 2 hits in the game.
Desmond Jennings got the game started with a double down the left field line on the first pitch of the game and eventually scored on an Evan Longoria sac fly. That would be the only offense the Rays could muster. The Tigers on the other hand came out swinging and scored 5 runs off Bedard in the bottom of the first including a pair of two-run home runs by Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez, and Torii Hunter also hit a solo shot. Bedard allowed another run in the 2nd before being lifted for Cesar Ramos.
Ramos gave the 3.1 innings and allowed 2 runs, but more importantly he ate away some innings before he goes on paternity leave soon. Kirby Yates threw 2.2 scoreless innings after Ramos departed. Yates and Ramos deserve a ton of credit for saving the rest of the bullpen in this one and ensuring that Joe Maddon will not be handcuffed for tomorrow’s game.
A couple of other miscellaneous notes: Vince Belnome made his ML debut and went 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts. Joe Maddon opted for a tribute to Tommy Tutone by assembling a lineup that read 867-5309, but apparently the Tigers already had their number.
The Rays will look to bounce back tomorrow in the 4th of July matchup. Alex Cobb will be on the mound opposed by Drew Smyly. Game time is 7:10 PM EST and the game will be the second game of ESPN’s 4th of July doubleheader.