ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Steven Souza Jr. came within a single of hitting for the cycle, Erasmo Ramirez and two relievers combined on a five-hitter, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Detroit 8-1 Thursday for a three-game sweep of the Tigers.
Souza doubled in the first, hit a two-run triple in the second and added a solo homer in the eighth.
Ramirez (2-0) allowed one run and two hits in five innings with five strikeouts and no walks. In the rotation because Jake Odorizzi strained his left hamstring, Ramirez had not started since April 16 last year.
Chase Whitley gave up a hit and two walks in three innings, and Tommy Hunter allowed two hits in the ninth.
Tampa Bay rookie Daniel Robertson hit his first career homer, an eighth-inning solo shot off Warwick Saupold.
Daniel Norris (1-1) gave up five runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Ian Kinsler hit his 41st leadoff homer, but Tampa Bay tied the score in the bottom half after Souza doubled on a fly ball that right fielder Tyler Collins appeared to lose. He scored when Dixon Machado, filling in for injured shortstop Jose Iglesias, made an errant throw after fielding Rickie Weeks’ grounder.
Souza tripled on an opposite-field flare that bounced past Collins near the right-field line, then scored on Kevin Kiermaier’s single for a 4-1 lead.
Kiermaier homered off Saupold in the seventh.