DETROIT -- The Rays ended their Detroit blues by pulling out a victory following a pitchers' duel between Chris Archer and Michael Fulmer. Daniel Robertson's two RBI singles and Mallex Smith's go-ahead single in the seventh sent Tampa Bay to a 3-2 win over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.
"Couple [of] frustrating days," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We got beat up last night. Nice to see the guys bounce back against a really good pitcher and find a way to win."
Archer (5-4) and Fulmer (6-5) had gems through six innings, but Miguel Cabrera's sixth-inning solo homer had Archer in line for a hard-luck defeat. Three consecutive two-out singles in the seventh changed that, sending Steven Souza Jr. around following a leadoff walk and also scoring Robertson.
Archer struck out eight batters over his six innings to earn his first win since May 26. Alex Colome recorded the final five outs, stranding the potential tying run on third base in the ninth for his 19th save.
"They threw a pitcher by the name of Chris Archer, who's pretty good," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It was just a pitchers' duel, and they were able to scrape out one more run than we were."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cabrera goes oppo again: Two days after Cabrera hit a walk-off homer to right-center off Tommy Hunter, his go-ahead homer Saturday went to nearly the same spot on a similar swing off Archer's first pitch of the sixth inning. The 29-degree loft had enough carry on a hot, humid afternoon in Detroit to carry into the seats for a 2-1 Tigers lead.
"He's definitely swinging the bat better," Ausmus said. "I tried to tell you I wasn't worried."
Robertson strikes again: Robertson's first RBI single was a clean one, a liner into center field to score Colby Rasmus in the fifth inning. His game-tying grounder, however, was just deep enough in the hole that second baseman Ian Kinsler couldn't corral it. Robertson advanced on Derek Norris' single and scored on Smith's seeing-eye single between Kinsler and Cabrera.
"Robby had a fairly difficult night the first night in [to Detroit]," Cash said. "And then he rebounded yesterday really nicely, and today it just carried over. He's having solid at-bats and getting pitches that he can handle. He smoked the ball in his first at-bat for the line-drive [out] and then he comes up with some big RBIs."
"Colome, we haven't done that in a while, to ask him for a five-out save. We wanted to pitch today regardless. I don't know if he wanted to pitch that much, but we got him to pitch. And he got a lot of big outs for us." -- Cash, on using Colome for an extended save
"What I've really liked, and I think we need some more of that tonic, is what we've gotten the last few days from our starting pitching -- eight innings, seven innings, into the seventh. That will be a good remedy." -- Former Tigers manager and current Tigers special assistant Jim Leyland, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday
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Cabrera's home run was his 26th opposite-field home run since 2015, according to Statcast™, moving him out of a tie with Josh Donaldson for third-most among right-handed hitters in that span. Fellow Tiger J.D. Martinez is second with 28. Oakland's Khris Davis leads with 33.
The Tigers nearly had two runners on and nobody out for the top of their order against Colome in the ninth, but a challenge of Jose Iglesias' bunt down the first-base line overturned what was originally ruled a single. A 47-second review showed Colome's throw to first barely beat Iglesias.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays: Jacob Faria (2-0, 1.42) will start against the Tigers on Sunday at Comerica Park in his third career MLB start. Faria has tossed consecutive one-run starts since his June 7 debut, both of which spanned 6 1/3 innings. The game, which has a first pitch slated for 1:10 p.m. ET, will be shown live for free on MLB.TV.
Tigers:Buck Farmer (2-0, 3.52), who tossed 13 scoreless innings in his first two starts before giving up six runs to Arizona on Tuesday, gets a chance to rebound when he faces the Rays in the series finale.