Kiermaier breaks hand, Rays fall to Tigers 5-4

Posted at 10:50 PM, May 21, 2016

   DETROIT (AP) -- Kevin Kiermaier could be sidelined for a while after trying to make a spectacular play in the outfield.

   Kiermaier broke his glove hand attempting to make a diving catch in center field Saturday, and the Tampa Bay Rays lost 5-4 to the Detroit Tigers. Kiermaier had his left hand heavily bandaged when he spoke to reporters in the clubhouse after the game.

   "My glove kind of caught the ground and made my hand go a way that it's never gone before," Kiermaier said. "It's just really unfortunate. I was really starting to feel good at the plate."

   Detroit's Michael Fulmer struck out 11 over seven sparkling innings and Cameron Maybin, James McCann and J.D. Martinez homered to lift the Tigers. Making only his fifth major league start, Fulmer allowed a run on four hits and a walk.

   The game was tied at 1 when Fulmer (3-1) came off the mound after the top of the seventh, but the Tigers scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to make him the pitcher of record. Drew Smyly (2-5) allowed a tiebreaking two-run homer by McCann in the seventh, and Martinez hit a two-run shot of his own off reliever Steven Geltz later that inning.

   Fulmer's first four starts this season came on the road, and his home debut was certainly appreciated by the Comerica Park crowd.

   "I got the chills coming off the mound in the seventh, all the fans on their feet and stuff," Fulmer said. "I'm just blessed and I'm honored to finally pitch at home."

   The mood was far different for the Rays after Kiermaier's injury. He came out of the game in the fifth inning, immediately after his diving attempt in center.

   "Unfortunate, obviously," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "Kind of just quieted our entire dugout."

   Kiermaier said he knew something was broken right away, but he is glad it wasn't his wrist.

   Evan Longoria hit a solo shot in the sixth for Tampa Bay, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

   Up 5-1, Detroit's Justin Wilson gave up three runs in the eighth, but Francisco Rodriguez pitched a hitless ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances. Brad Miller hit a two-run triple in the eighth for Tampa Bay, then scored on a passed ball.


   Aside from Fulmer's sharp outing, the other promising sign for the Tigers was Maybin, who kept up his torrid pace since coming back from a fractured wrist. About the only thing Maybin hadn't accomplished yet this season was an extra-base hit, and he finally got one when his homer put Detroit up 1-0 in the third.

   Maybin had three hits Saturday and is now 11 for 17 this season since coming off the disabled list Monday.


   The Rays had scored at least six runs in each of their previous six games, tying a club record. That run went by the wayside, thanks to Fulmer.

   "Drew Smyly was outstanding, their guy was outstanding," Cash said. "Just a really well-pitched game on both ends. We just couldn't quite figure that guy out."


   Rays: RP Brad Boxberger (adductor surgery) was slated to make a rehab appearance Saturday night for Triple-A Durham, at home against Rochester.

   Tigers: RHP Shane Greene (right middle finger blister) began a rehab assignment with Class A West Michigan on Friday night. He threw three scoreless innings, allowing two hits with a walk and five strikeouts.


   Rays: Tampa Bay sends RHP Chris Archer (3-4) to the mound for Sunday's series finale. He's won three straight decisions after starting the season 0-4.

   Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (6-2) starts for the first time since allowing seven earned runs Monday against Minnesota.