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Apr 23, 2024 4:39 am

Rays look to get offense going vs. Tigers

Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers will chase their second consecutive series win on Tuesday, and scheduled starter Kenta Maeda will certainly have a tough act to follow.

After routing the Tampa Bay Rays on 7-1 on Monday, manager A.J. Hinch’s club will look for Maeda to keep up the top-shelf pitching that Tarik demonstrated in the series opener at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Skubal overpowered the Rays for six scoreless innings, striking out nine without issuing a walk. He gave up three singles, all singles, and blew away the Rays with the hard stuff.

As for the Detroit offense, Mark Canha had three hits and launched a solo homer, and Parker Meadows also went deep.

Detroit led 3-0 after two innings, finished with 11 hits and went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Was it the Tigers’ best game of the year?

“We’ve had some pretty good ones now,” Hinch said postgame. “Sometimes you ride the roller coaster. It was a fun win, jumping out ahead. Obviously, Skubal’s start today … he’s in total command and we can make some moves aggressively to give him a little bit of rest and come out of it feeling good for tomorrow, too.

“We played in all facets today.”

After watching his club register only 12 runs over the past five outings, Rays skipper Kevin Cash said the flame-throwing Skubal served as a bad matchup.

“For a team that’s trying to get its offense going, which we are, he’s probably not the guy that you want to face,” said Cash, whose team sits in last place in the American League East after splitting the first 24 games. “Pretty electric fastball and the mix off the other pitches. But everything goes off the fastball.

“It’s very, ‘Here it is, hit it,’ and we didn’t do that tonight.”

In stretching his hitting streak to 14 games, Rays leadoff hitter Amed Rosario went 2-for-4, raising his batting average to .359.

However, Tampa Bay batters struck out 12 times, walked just once and were just 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

Detroit next will turn to Maeda (0-1, 7.64 ERA) in his fifth start of the season.

The former 16-game winner is still trying to sharpen his game after not pitching in 2022 due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery performed in September 2021.

The 36-year-old right-hander is 6-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) since the procedure, which included the addition of an internal brace.

Maeda’s downfall this campaign has been the long ball: Seven deep shots have left the yard in only 17 2/3 innings.

In his eight-year career, the Japanese hurler has made one start and one relief appearance against the Rays, posting a 2-0 mark with a 3.86 ERA in seven innings.

Tampa Bay will send out hard-throwing Ryan Pepiot (2-2, 4.37 ERA) for his fifth start overall and fourth at home.

Over six innings on Thursday, Pepiot evened his mark by allowing the visiting Los Angeles Angels only one run on three hits. He struck out seven and walked three.

Last Sept. 19 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the right-hander fired six innings of one-run relief in his only career appearance against the Tigers. Pepiot, who received a no-decision, yielded five hits — including a homer by Meadows — while walking one and fanning four.

–Field Level Media

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