By Bill Chastain and J. Scott Butherus
ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to take an 8-7 win over Detroit, capping a topsy-turvy battle Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.
Both runs scored on the final play of the game when Logan Morrison appeared to hit into a bases-loaded double play, but Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias tripped on second base and threw wild to first, allowing Kevin Kiermaier and Peter Bourjos to score the tying and winning runs to give the Rays the walk-off.
Iglesias was injured on the final play, as his head connected with Brad Miller's knee when Miller slid into second as Iglesias fell. Iglesias remained face-down on the field for several moments before he was helped off by training staff. The exact nature of his injury is unknown, but he appeared woozy in the clubhouse after the game.
"Interesting ballgame to say the least," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "A lot of back-and-forth."
Kiermaier led off the ninth inning against Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez with a walk, and Evan Longoria -- who already had three RBIs on two hits -- doubled to right on the second pitch he saw to put runners at second and third with no outs. Bourjos pinch-ran for Longoria before the Tigers intentionally walked Miller to load the bases for Steven Souza Jr. Souza tried to check his final swing, but it was ruled strike three.
That prompted Cash to leave the dugout to argue the call. He was ejected before Morrison hit into a fielder's choice that sparked the winning play.
"That's an odd play to end the game," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Nine times out of 10 that's a double play that gets turned, but Iggy kind of hit second base awkwardly and fell. It was just one of those things."
The Tigers trailed 5-1 after four innings before scoring three times in the fifth -- on Miguel Cabrera's RBI double and Victor Martinez's two-run single -- and three more in the sixth on Nicholas Castellanos' three-run triple -- his second triple of the game, which gave the Tigers a 7-5 lead. The Rays were able to get one back in the seventh on Souza's RBI single to narrow the deficit to one run.
"It doesn't feel good [to lose]," Castellanos said. "At the same time, we have a game tomorrow. This outcome has already happened, and I guarantee that everyone else in the locker room has put it behind them."
Rays starter Chris Archer allowed for runs on seven hits while striking out nine over five innings, while Jordan Zimmermann allowed five runs on 10 hits over six innings for the Tigers. Both received no-decisions.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Crazy sixth: Trailing 5-4, the Tigers had runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth when JaCoby Jones popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt. Longoria, the Rays third baseman, wisely let the ball hit the ground then threw to Tim Beckham covering second. The Rays shortstop stepped on the bag and threw to first. Miller, who was covering first, stretched and fell to his right but came up with the ball and completed the double play.
Then the worm turned. Jumbo Diaz took over for Danny Farquhar and walked the bases full to set the stage for Castellanos, who drove a ball to right-center field. Kiermaier dove for the ball, but the Rays Gold Glove-winning center fielder came up empty. The ball rolled to the wall, leaving Castellanos on third and the Tigers with a two-run lead.
Pruitt fends off Tigers rally:Austin Pruitt entered with two outs in the sixth. After Castellanos' big triple, Diaz intentionally walked Cabrera and handed the ball to Pruitt, who struck out Martinez on five pitches to knock the wind from the Tigers' sails.
It was the start of something big for Pruitt, who would go on to earn the win after closing out the game. He faced the minimum 10 Tigers in his 3 1/3 innings and struck out five. Pruitt allowed just one hit along the way -- a one-out single to Cabrera in the ninth -- but coaxed a double play from Martinez to set the stage for the Rays in the bottom half of the frame.
"I was incorrect, and after looking at it, [home-plate umpire] Larry [Vanover] got the call right. … He got the call right and I was wrong." -- Cash, on his ejection
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Cabrera's double in the top of the fifth was the 525th of his career, tying him with Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams for 44th all-time.
The Tigers challenged the call at first base on Jones' bunt in the sixth inning. The play was confirmed after review.
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers:Daniel Norris (1-0, 2.19 ERA) will take the hill for his third start of the season when the Tigers attempt to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Rays in a 1:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. Norris is coming off a six-inning scoreless performance against the Indians in which he allowed just two hits and struck out five. The Tigers will again be without outfielder Justin Upton, who is day to day with a right-wrist contusion.
Rays:Erasmo Ramirez (1-0, 3.72) will make his first start of the season as he takes Jake Odorizzi's place in the rotation while Odorizzi recovers from a left-hamstring strain. He'll likely be limited to 75 pitches.