ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Kevin Keirmaier blamed himself for Tuesday night’s 11-inning loss to the Detroit Tigers, but Joe Maddon wouldn’t let him.
The Tampa Bay Rays’ rookie right fielder took a chance in the 11th, diving for Ian Kinsler’s leadoff hit, which got by him for a triple. It opened a three-run inning that enabled the Tigers to win, 8-6.
“I wouldn’t have dove if I wasn’t 100 percent. I’m still trying to figure out how I missed it,” Kieremaier said. “Once a runner’s on third with no outs, the odds are in their favor. I put that loss on my shoulders because we need a win, and for me to not come up with that ball is really tough.”
It was the only hit in the inning for the Tigers, who drew three walks off Grant Balfour and another walk and wild pitch from Jeff Beliveau.
While acknowledging Kiermaier’s misplay put him in a tough spot, Balfour (1-5) took some of the blame himself.
“My approach should have been just be more aggressive and concede one run,” he said. “We came back and scored a run anyway so we would have tied it up. But I was trying to do too much not wanting to give up that run after that play.”
Torii Hunter walked and Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked before Victor Martinez got his free pass with the bases loaded. Hunter scored on Beliveau’s wild pitch and Bryan Holaday added a sacrifice fly that gave Detroit an 8-5 lead.
Jim Johnson (5-2) worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the 10th. Joe Nathan gave up Evan Longoria’s RBI single in the 11th before getting his 26th save.
Maddon found no fault with Kiermaier’s attempt.
“You don’t want to dive and have it land in front of you, but he dove and could have caught it,” the Rays manager said. “That’s what makes a difference.”
James Loney homered for the Rays, who had a club-record stretch of 13 consecutive games holding opponents to four runs or less end. The Rays have lost three straight for the first time since June 8-10.
Detroit starter Max Scherzer came up short in his bid to become the AL’s first 15th winner when Joba Chamberlain gave up an eighth-inning sacrifice fly to Vince Belnome that tied it at 5.
Scherzer allowed four runs and four hits over seven innings. After falling behind 4-0, the right-hander held Tampa Bay scoreless on one hit over his final five innings.
The Tigers pulled within 4-3 in the fifth, thanks in part to a video review. Cabrera was given an RBI single after a challenge by Detroit manager Brad Ausmus. The call that center fielder Desmond Jennings had made a sliding catch on Cabrera’s two-out liner was overturned.
Another review overturned a home run that would have put the Rays up 5-0 in the fourth.
“We got burned on replay twice but they were the right calls,” Maddon said. “Had replay not been part of the game, we would have won that game tonight.”
It was the Rays’ fourth extra-inning loss this month.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (sore right shoulder) could throw off a mound in a couple day and might start Saturday. OF Andy Dirks (back surgery) injured a hamstring at Triple-A Toledo and could miss the rest of the season.
Rays: OF Wil Myers (broken right wrist) is expected back this week. C Ryan Hanigan (oblique) and OF David DeJesus (broken left hand) are both nearing rehab assignments.
Tigers RHP Rick Porcello (13-7) and Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (9-9) are Wednesday night’s scheduled starters.
FINALLY THE FIRST
Rays rookie Belnome was deprived of his first major league RBI when a replay challenge turned his fourth-inning home run into a foul ball, but he finally got his RBI with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
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