photo credit: J.Meric/Getty Images
Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar is congratulated by his teammates after driving in the game-winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning.
by Steve Carney
It was one of those games you remember seeing in 2008, 2010, or 2011.
The Rays spotted Justin Verlander a 3-0 third-inning lead before tying the game in the eighth, and walking off two innings later with a 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Chris Archer tossed five innings of work Saturday, with four scoreless frames. His only stumble came in the third, as Jackson led off the inning with his fourth home run of the year to open the scoring. After Andy Dirks grounded out, Miguel Cabrera singled, went to second on a single by Victor Martinez, and following a wild pitch, both runners scored on a single by Peralta to make it 3-0.
Tampa Bay got one run back in the bottom of the inning, as Desmond Jennings singled with one out, and scored on a ground ball by Ben Zobrist.
The Rays got to within a single run in the fifth, as Matt Joyce reached on a throwing error by Prince Fielder, moved to third on a single by Zobrist, and scored on a single by James Loney.
The rally ended when Wil Myers grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, the first of two times Saturday Tampa Bay grounded into a double play to end an inning with runners in scoring position.
The Rays finally drew even in the bottom of the eighth, when Luke Scott's fifth home run of the year made it 3-3.
Tampa Bay took their only lead in the bottom of the tenth, as James Loney singled off Bruce Rondon (0-1) with one out, and Wil Myers moved pinch-runner Sam Fuld into scoring position with a single of his own. Scott struck out for the second out of the inning, but a wild pitch moved both runners up a base, and Yunel Escobar's fly ball then got over a drawn-in Jackson's head to bring in Fuld with the game-winner.
Alex Torres, Joel Peralta, and Fernando Rodney combined to throw five shutout innings of relief, with Rodney throwing the final two frames to pick up his third win.
The win snaps Tampa Bay's two-game losing streak, and gives the Rays a chance to take the series Sunday afternoon, with Jeremy Hellickson (6-3, 5.11 ERA) taking on Rick Porcello (4-5, 5.27 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:40, with pregame coverage starting at 12:00 with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.