Tigers top Rays in 11 innings, keep pace with Royals

The Tigers, the AL second wild-card leader, won for the fifth time in 13 games.

Kim Klement

At this point, the Tigers are just keeping pace with the ridiculous Royals.

While the Tigers needed 11 innings to get an 8-6 comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Royals were rolling over the Colorado Rockies, 7-4, for their 22nd win in their last 27 games.

The Royals (70-55) remain two games ahead of the Tigers (67-56) in the Central Division.

There were a few good signs that came out of the Tigers’ win, however.

First, Max Scherzer gave up four runs in the first two innings and was able to settle down and get through seven.

"He didn’t give up a bunch of hits," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told FOX Sports Detroit’s John Keating on the post-game show. "He had a hit batter, walked a guy and then the three-run homer. That kind of stung, obviously, in the first inning stings even more. But really he gave us seven strong innings."

Second, the Tigers managed to walk 10 times during the game, displaying a patience that had not been seen in a while.

The 10 walks tied for the most given up by the Rays in a game this season.

"They’re wanting to be patient," FOX Sports Detroit analyst Craig Monroe said. "That’s how they feel they had a lot of success earlier in the season. They were making pitchers work, they were making these guys throw strikes."

Another good sign is one of the guys who was able to capitalize was Ian Kinsler, batting leadoff again.

Kinsler was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

No hit was bigger than Kinsler’s leadoff triple in the 11th inning. Kevin Kiermaier dove for the ball but couldn’t come up with it.

That kicked off an inning in which the Tigers scored three runs.

"They really need Ian Kinsler to step up and play the way he is capable of playing," FOX Sports Detroit color analyst Rod Allen said on the post-game show. "Not only was he getting it done on the offensive end, he was also getting it done on the defensive end. He’s one of those guys that the team feeds off at the top of the batting order."

Kinsler said he’s not worried about the fact that his numbers are down in the second half of the season. All he’s thinking about is trying to win gams.

"We understand what’s going on right now, we understand what’s at stake," Kinsler told Keating on the field after the game. "There’s a lot of guys in that clubhouse that want to win a World Series. There’s no doubt about that."