Detroit Tigers hitters mostly baffled by Tampa Bay pitchers in Rays' 5-2 win Thursday


Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Yandy Diaz hit a leadoff home run and Mike Zunino later connected, reliever Dietrich Enns pitched four solid innings and the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 on Thursday night.

The Rays lead second place Boston and Toronto by 8 1/2 games. The fourth-place New York Yankees are nine back.

“Our job isn’t to control the teams behind us, our job is to come here everyday and just try to win our game,” DÌaz said through an interpreter. “That’s stuff we can control.”

Tampa Bay slugger Nelson Cruz left the game in the sixth with a bruised right forearm. He hit by a pitch on the arm during the first inning.

Enns (2-0) gave up one run and three hits as six Tampa Bay pitchers combined on a six-hitter.

Niko Goodrum and Jeimer Candelario homered for the Tigers, who took two of three from Tampa Bay last weekend. Tyler Alexander (2-3) allowed four runs and five hits over 5 2/3 innings.

“I thought Alexander did a good job,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “We didn’t quite have enough offense to support him.”

Diaz homered on Alexander’s first pitch in a two-run first.

Goodrum got the Tigers within 2-1 on a fifth-inning homer. Kevin Kiermaier scored from second on Manuel Margot’s infield single in the Rays half to make it 3-1.

Anderson departed after walking Joey Wendle with two outs in the sixth and was replaced by Drew Carlton, who gave up Zunino’s 31st homer that extended the Rays lead to 5-1.

Candelario hit a solo shot with two outs in the ninth.