ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon called the Rays’ extra-inning win over Detroit “inspirational.” Tigers manager Jim Leyland needed just 19 seconds to wrap up another tough defeat.
“Emotional,” Maddon said. “I just love the fact we did not give up.”
Tampa Bay took advantage of Fernando Rodney’s wildness to put together the winning rally. Pinch-hitter Willy Aybar led off with a walk, bringing Jason Bartlett to the plate. Bartlett squared to bunt and left when Rodney (0-3) plunked him on his right index finger.
Shawn Riggans batted for Bartlett, and Rodney hit him on the chest with the next pitch.
“It wasn’t the best way to get the runner over, but it worked out,” Riggans said.
Both runners advanced on Akinori Iwamura’s sacrifice and B.J. Upton walked before Crawford hit a tying single into left field. One out later, Pena won it when took a 3-2 pitch to force in the winning run.
Rodney has blown four of his five save chances.
“I’ll just tell all of you to say whatever you want and write whatever you want,” Leyland said in his brief postgame media session. “That’s all I’ve got for you today. You guys write about it. You saw it. You write whatever you want. Report whatever you want.”
Detroit (55-56), one of the preseason favorites to win the AL pennant, is 13-16 since the start of July.
“You’ve got to step it up if you want to be in the hunt,” Leyland said before the game. “You don’t want to be in the hunt, go home. Take an early vacation. Come back for spring training. We’ll bring some kids up to play. We should be embarrassed. I’m not sure enough people are.”
Trever Miller (1-0) got the final two outs in the 10th for the Rays. He did not have a decision in his previous 121 outings—a major league record—dating to a victory over Atlanta on Sept. 30, 2006.
Percival, who blew his third save in 27 opportunities, also gave up a tying solo homer to Curtis Granderson in the ninth. Granderson extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
“I wasn’t very good,” Percival said. “This team doesn’t quit. This bullpen has been so good, it’s like every time we do stink it up it’s like they’re obligated to go out and do something and they do. It’s incredible.”
Tampa Bay (66-44) equaled its victory total from last season and improved to 43-16 at home.
“I was just trying to be aggressive and they hit the ball like they are supposed to when I make a mistake,” Farnsworth said. “It’s tough. Guys battled back for us, so it’s kind of frustrating. They did that for us, and we let them down pitching-wise. It’s tough.”
The Tigers went up 3-1 on Sheffield’s homer in the eighth. He has 489 career homers, including nine this season.
James Shields gave up two runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings for Tampa Bay.
Bartlett said X-rays showed no broken bones. He might miss Monday’s game with Cleveland. … Sheffield, with 1,607 RBIs, is two away from tying Goose Goslin for 28th place on the career list. … Ordonez has 22 RBIs in his last 23 games. … Tigers SS Edgar Renteria, mired in a 3-for-25 slide, was rested. He entered in the 10th as a defensive replacement. … Maddon and executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will talk with Rocco Baldelli (chronic muscle fatigue) on Monday to determine the outfielder’s status. Baldelli completed a minor league rehab assignment Friday.