DETROIT — It would have been nice for Rick Porcello to try to keep up with Clayton Kershaw but all good things must come to an end.
Porcello saw his 25-inning scoreless streak end in the first inning of Sunday night’s nationally televised game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Desmond Jennings hit a double, Ben Zobrist hit an RBI single and former Tiger Matt Joyce homered for a 3-0 lead before Porcello recorded his first out.
The Rays (41-50) finished off their third straight win over the Tigers, 7-3, handing Porcello his second-worst start of the season.
Porcello (11-5) gave up seven runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings while walking one and striking out two.
"I was falling behind guys," Porcello said. "I didn’t stay down in the zone well at all. I fell behind Joyce 2-1, got into a fastball count. I tried to come in with the sinker and it ran through the middle of the plate. I wasn’t sharp early and in the later innings kind of lost it again."
It was not helpful for Porcello’s campaign to win the AL Final Vote to make the All-Star team.
"Certainly not indicative of the type of pitcher Rick is," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "His last couple starts were outstanding. It just so happened that timing-wise it wasn’t great for him but he certainly deserved to be an All-Star."
Kershaw, who made the National League All-Star squad, has a 36-inning scoreless streak going for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Porcello has never made an All-Star team and his teammates are definitely pulling for him, especially Max Scherzer, who made his first All-Star team last year.
"It’s such an amazing experience," Scherzer said. "When you see guys who have a resume that’s worthy of being there, you just want them to be able to enjoy that opportunity, enjoy the festivities that go along with the All-Star Game because the whole world is watching. He’s gone out there and done his thing and put himself in the running and hopefully fans vote for Rick."
Torii Hunter, who has made five All-Star teams, said people should not overlook the rest of Porcello’s season just because of one bad start Sunday.
"You gotta remember that he’s been pitching pretty well for us," Hunter said. "The way he’s pitching, if it weren’t for him, we might not be in first place. Rick has done a lot for this ballclub. He’s still deserving to go to the All-Star Game."
Miguel Cabrera made his ninth All-Star team and was voted a starter by the fans.
"And he’s what, 31? Unbelievable," Scherzer said, shaking his head. "He’s playing a video game every time he steps into the box and he has all the cheat codes."
Victor Martinez was the third Tiger to make the team. His status is up in the air because he has missed five of the last seven games with the injury to his back/side.
"He’s going to probably go regardless of whether he can play or not, I would imagine," Ausmus said. "But in terms of playing the game, I think Victor understands that it’s more important to play the season than to play the All-Star Game. The honor is being selected and he’s more than deserving to be on the All-Star team. But if he’s not healthy to play, or even if he plays in the Kansas City series or even the Dodgers series or both, it might be a situation where we still might be cautious during the All-Star Game because we don’t want something happening there."
Porcello’s chances of winning the Final Vote and joining Cabrera, Martinez and Scherzer depend on fan voting, which goes through 4 p.m. Thursday.
The competition is fierce as the other four candidates are all pitchers, all deserving.
Chicago White Sox lefty Chris Sale is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.
Houston Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel is 8-5 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
Los Angeles Angels righty Garrett Richards is 10-2 with a 2.71 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.
Cleveland Indians righty Corey Kluber is 8-6 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
After Sunday, Porcello is 11-5 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
Regardless of what happens in the Final Vote, Porcello is not down on himself or on the strides he’s made this season.
"Very happy for my teammates that made the team," Porcello said. "Obviously honored to be included in the final voting. Lot of good pitchers out there. It would be awesome to be able to go but at the same time it doesn’t take anything away from how well I feel I pitched in the first half. I, proud of the work I’ve done in the first half and I want to continue to do that."