Published August 05, 2015
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Rookie Curt Casali had three hits and homered twice for the second straight game, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to 10-2 victory over the slumping Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Casali hit a two-run homer off All-Star David Price (9-4) in the fourth inning and added a solo shot off the former Rays ace for a 5-1 lead in the sixth. He struck out with the bases loaded in the eighth, finishing 3 for 4 with three RBIs on consecutive nights.
Jake Odorizzi (6-6) allowed one run and six hits over six innings to improve to 2-1 since returning from a five-week stint on the disabled list.
Yoenis Cespedes homered for the second straight night for the Tigers, who've lost four of five to start a 10-game game road trip and dropped 13 1/2 games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central. The solo shot briefly tied it at 1 in the fourth.
Price, whose future in Detroit is the subject of speculation with Friday's major league trade deadline looming, allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings to lose his third straight start.
The 2012 AL Cy Young winner and five-time All-Star was part of four teams that made the playoffs in seven seasons with Tampa Bay. He was traded to the Tigers hours before the July 31 deadline a year ago.
In his only other start against his former team, the hard-throwing left-hander pitched a complete game in defeat, losing 1-0 after allowing one hit in eight innings - a triple that drove in an unearned run.
A night after stopping a streak of 13 consecutive games scoring four or fewer runs, Tampa Bay did most of its damage against Price in two innings. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled and scored on Tim Beckham's single in the second, then doubled to drive in a run ahead of Casali's two-run homer that made it 4-1 in the fourth.
Casali also homered twice to help the Rays win the series opener on Monday. He's gone deep six times in his last six games with a plate appearance and six of his last eight hits have been home runs.
Evan Longoria homered leading off a five-run, eighth inning for Tampa Bay. After Neftali Feliz fanned Casali with the bases loaded, Beckham tripled to drive in three more runs and finish with four RBIs.
Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera (strained left calf) is running at 70 percent on a treadmill and is expected back in mid-to-late August.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier was back in the lineup after leaving Monday night's game because of a left eye abrasion that the Rays described as minor. ... OF Desmond Jennings (left knee) will start a minor league rehab assignment this weekend with Triple-A Durham.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (0-3) will try for his first win of the season Wednesday. It's his eighth start since returning from a right triceps injury.
Rays: All-Star RHP Chris Archer (9-7) starts the season finale. He's 0-3 over five starts since beating Toronto on June 23.
While the Tigers have struggled, the AL Central-leading Royals have added pitcher Johnny Cueto and INF-OF Ben Zobrist in trades the past few days.
''Makes them stronger, makes them better,'' Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. ''They're already the best team in the league.''
Earlier in the day, the Rays traded OF David DeJesus to the Los Angeles Angels and received minor league RHP Eduar Lopez in return.