ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — An early warning from the plate umpire stopped any more trouble on the field between the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers. It didn’t seem to put an end to the ill will, though.
Jeremy Hellickson earned his fifth June win and the Rays beat Detroit 3-1 Sunday in a game that got off to a tense start.
Both benches were warned by umpire Vic Carapazza after Detroit’s Rick Porcello hit Ben Zobrist with a pitch in the first inning. Both dugouts stayed calm and nothing further developed.
Rays manager Joe Maddon didn’t particularly like seeing Zobrist get plunked.
“I thought it was absolutely uncalled for, and hopefully the league will take a look at it,” Maddon said.
The Rays did not retaliate Sunday, but Maddon added “there’s many more opportunities to play good, hard baseball, and we will.”
A day earlier, Miguel Cabrera yelled at the Tampa Bay dugout after he struck out in the 10th inning. Fernando Rodney had thrown a high-and-tight fastball before fanning the Tigers star.
“I don’t debate, this guy is outstanding,” Maddon said of Cabrera. “He’s wonderful. I just wish he wouldn’t cry so much.”
Zobrist walked to first base after being struck on the wrist with two outs and no one on base.
“I just assumed it would happen today at some point because of what was said last night,” Zobrist said. “I just said to one of the umpires on the way to first, I was like, `Hey, that was intentional. You guys know it. I think we should do something about that.’ But they chose not to.”
Maddon pointed out that Jhonny Peralta took an in-tight pitch from Rodney on Sunday and there was no response.
“Peralta got the same pitch that Cabrera got last night, with the same kind of a moment, and nobody’s worried about Peralta,” Maddon said. “So, if I’m Jhonny Peralta, I’m upset right now. I’m not getting that same kind of reaction from everybody that Cabrera got last night. Overreaction, no reaction.”
Porcello said he was surprised by the warning.
“I tried to throw a fastball in and it just got away from me,” Porcello said.
Before Sunday’s game, Detroit manager Jim Leyland said “that’s history” when asked about the Cabrera incident. After Saturday’s game, however, Leyland said: “Throwing in that area is not acceptable, and somebody pays the price for that throughout baseball. That’s just the way baseball is.”
“History repeated itself in the first inning,” Maddon said.
Leyland said “nobody’s trying to hit anybody.”
“What do you want to talk about?” Leyland said. “That’s part of baseball. Guys get hit in baseball games. That’s nothing new. We got three guys hit last week, we hit a couple guys last week. That’s all part of the game. A guy got hit. Big deal.”
Hellickson (7-3) allowed one run over six-plus innings. He tied the team record for victories in one month held by Matt Moore, David Price and Scott Kazmir.
“That’s outstanding,” Maddon said.
Rodney pitched the ninth for his 17th save.
Cabrera hit his 25th homer this season for the Tigers, sending a shot into a fish tank beyond the wall.
Porcello stumbled while in his delivery when facing Zobrist in the third and threw a pitch that landed well in front of the plate. Porcello (4-6) went six innings, allowing three runs and eight hits.
Cabrera, booed before each of his at-bats, tied it at 1 with a fourth-inning homer that gave him a 15-game hitting streak. His drive was the second — joining Luis Gonzalez’s shot in 2007 — to go into the fish tank just to the right of center field that is home to a group of cownose rays.
James Loney extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a double in the second and scored on a single by Jose Lobaton to put the Rays up 1-0.
Lobaton drove in another run with a single during a two-run fourth that made it 3-1. Yunel Escobar had a bases-loaded walk in the inning.
Hellickson left with the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh. Reliever Jake McGee bailed out the Rays starter by retiring three straight batters to end the threat.
“That was unbelievable,” Hellickson said. “To get out of that was pretty amazing.”
NOTES: Leyland, this year’s AL All-Star team manager, supports the idea that all teams have a player in the contest. “You can get a lot of arguments because it’s probably not a true All-Star team when you have to have somebody from every team, but I love the fact that every uniform is represented at the All-Star game,” Leyland said. “I think that’s really a nice touch.” … Rays 3B Evan Longoria (plantar fasciitis) missed his second consecutive game. … Denny McLain, the majors’ last 30-game winner, was at the ballpark. He did it in 1968 with the Tigers. … Cabrera went 1 for 4 and had his major league-best batting average drop two points to .373.