St. Petersburg, FL – Jose Lobaton went 3-for-3 with two RBI to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers in the rubber match of a three-game set at Tropicana Field.
Yunel Escobar also had an RBI and Luke Scott went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Rays, winners in five of their last seven games.
Jeremy Hellickson (7-3) gave up just one run -- a solo homer -- on six hits while striking out six over six-plus frames to pick up his third straight win. Over his last six starts, Hellickson is 5-1 with a 3.57 earned run average.
"I'm feeling pretty good right now," Hellickson said. "I'm happy with where I'm at."
Fernando Rodney stranded a runner in the ninth to pick up his 17th save of the season.
Miguel Cabrera provided the lone run for the Tigers with a home run.
"We just haven't been producing any runs. It's been a problem for us and it was again today," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Rick Porcello (4-6) allowed all three runs on eight hits over six frames to absorb his third straight loss.
The Rays got on the board in the second inning. James Loney opened the frame with a double to left field and Kelly Johnson walked three batters later to put runners on the corners for Lobaton, who smacked an RBI base hit to left.
Cabrera tied the game in the fourth inning with a leadoff homer. Cabrera clobbered the first pitch he saw, a hanging curveball, into the fish tank in right-center field for his 25th long ball of the season.
Tampa Bay countered with a pair of runs in the home half to go up 3-1. Wil Myers, Scott and Johnson each singled to load the bases with one out. Lobaton followed with a base hit to center to plate Myers, and Escobar followed with a walk to force Scott home.
Following the walk, Matt Joyce ripped a line drive to the right side, but it was snared by Prince Fielder who was just able to beat Escobar back to the base to turn an inning-ending double play.
Omar Infante ripped a one-out double in the ninth, but Rodney struck out Jhonny Peralta and got pinch-hitter Brayan Pena to pop out to nail down the win.
Loney extended his hitting streak to 11 games ... The Rays have won 501 games since the start of the 2008 season. Only the Yankees and Phillies have more wins over that span ... Each of Tampa Bay's next 14 games are against teams with records below .500 (Astros, White Sox, Twins) ... Porcello fell to 2-2 all-time against the Rays.