Fulmer, Tigers Romp Over Rays 10-2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Michael Fulmer continued his historic rookie pitching run for the Detroit Tigers, and Victor Martinez contributed three-run home runs from both sides of the plate in a 10-2 romp over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Fulmer (8-2) gave up two hits in seven shutout innings as the Tigers won their fourth straight. Fulmer became the first Detroit pitcher since 1913 to give up one run or fewer in eight straight starts.
"Every night he pitches he's been giving us a really good chance to win ballgames," Martinez said. "That's what you ask for."
Fulmer struck out 10 and walked one, giving up singles to Cory Dickerson in the second inning and Logan Morrison in the seventh.
"It's pretty cool," Fulmer said of his eight-game streak, during which he is 6-1 with a 0.53 ERA. "My mind is just to a win a ball game anyway I can so if I can throw up zeroes, that's just a bonus. It's a team game, and the way we're playing right now, with the offense putting up 10 runs a night, it makes everybody else just relax and have fun playing this game."
In two wins against the Rays, Fulmer has struck out 21 of the 49 batters he has faced.
"He's good, there's no doubt about it," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He pitches in, some really late life. I totally understand the success that he's having this year."
Nick Castellanos drove in Detroit's first run with a two-out double off Drew Smyly in the fourth. Cameron Maybin's two-run single made it 3-0 in the sixth, extending his hitting streak to seven games during which the center fielder is hitting .500 (14 for 28) with nine RBIs.
Martinez's 15th home run came off reliever Danny Farquhar in the seventh. His 16th was off Enny Romero in the ninth, marking his third multi-homer game since June 16.
"He's one of the best hitters I've ever been around, especially with runners in scoring position," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He makes the pitcher work, he can hit the ball to all fields and he can drive the ball from both sides of the plate."
Smyly (2-9) gave up six hits and four earned runs while striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings.
Tigers: OF J.D. Martinez feels no pain in the fractured right elbow that is expected to keep him on the DL at least two more weeks. Martinez is "basically trying to stay in shape" with work in the weight room, according to Ausmus.
Rays: OF Desmond Jennings, who left Thursday's game with left hamstring tightness, was out of the lineup Friday and is day to day. ... RF Steven Souza Jr. (strained left hip) went 0 for 3 with a walk in his first game of a rehab assignment with Class-A Charlotte. ... RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) said he doesn't know yet if he will start a rehab assignment next week. ... INF Steve Pearce (strained right hamstring) has started hitting off a tee. ... Closer Alex Colome (right biceps tendinitis) could throw off a mound Sunday.
LOOKING AHEAD (RAYS) AND BACK (TIGERS)
Cash is trying not to dwell on Thursday night's 10-7 loss to Detroit, a game in which the Tigers scored eight in the ninth inning. "All the losses hurt - that one stung, there's no doubt," Cash said. "It was pretty devastating. At the same time it counts as one loss, it doesn't count as five." ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time the Tigers overcame a five-run deficit in the ninth inning to win a road game since July 7, 1922.
Detroit's Justin Verlander (7-6) will make his 335th career start Saturday against Tampa Bay rookie Blake Snell, who is 1-2 after four starts.