By Dave Hart
Tigers 3, Rays 2– The Tigers posted their fifth straight win defeating the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday evening.
Ian Kinsler led Detroit with a solo homer while Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jose Iglesias each added an RBI. Justin Upton chipped in with a double.
Detroit regained its lead in the fifth on Ian Kinler’s solo home run.
The Tigers added to their advantage in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Saltalamacchia.
The Rays cut their deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Logan Morrison.
Detroit’s closer Francisco Rodriguez picked up his 23rd save of the season, pitching a perfect ninth inning.
The Tigers are now 43-38 on the season, good for third place in the American League Central Division behind the first-place Cleveland Indians. They are currently a half game behind the Kansas City Royals for the last wild card playoff spot.
Detroit will look to sweep the Rays on the road in a four-game set with a victory on Sunday afternoon.
3rd Place in AL Central Division (6.5 games behind first-place Cleveland)
.5 game behind Kansas City for last Wild Card spot
Magic # to clinch a playoff spot: 83
Magic # to clinch an AL Central Division title: 89
Next Game: 07/03/2016 @ Tampa Bay Rays 1:10 p.m. @ Tropicana Field
Hitting stats: Ian Kinsler HR (15) RBI (50), Jarrod Saltalamacchia RBI (24), Jose Iglesias RBI (20), Justin Upton 2B (16), Mike Aviles SB (2)
Pitching stats: Justin Verlander W (8-6) 7 IP 4 H 2 R 1 ER 1 BB 8 K, Francisco Rodriguez SV (23) 1 IP 0 H 0 R 0 ER 0 BB 0 K.