By Dave Hart

Tigers 3, Rays 2– The Tigers posted their fifth straight win defeating the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday evening.

LSJ Logo incertDetroit’s starting pitcher Justin Verlander paced the Tigers picking up the win, allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out eight batters in seven innings.

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.

The Tigers opened the scoring in the second inning on an RBI single by Iglesias before Tampa Bay tied the game 1-1 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by EvanEye on the D Longoria.

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.

Record: 43-38

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.