Tigers drop to 4th place after 10-2 loss to Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Detroit manager Brad Ausmus isn't sure if his Detroit Tigers are losing their confidence.
"It's possible," Ausmus said when asked if his team is pressing. "But we need to get past it."
And now they need to get out of fourth place.
The Tigers fell into fourth in the AL Central following a 10-2 loss Tuesday night to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The last time Detroit was this low in the division after the All-Star break was the end of the 2008 season.
Rookie and one-time Detroit minor leaguer Curt Casali had three hits and homered twice for the second straight game for the Rays.
Casali hit a two-run homer off All-Star David Price (9-4) in the fourth inning and added a solo shot off the former Rays ace for a 5-1 lead in the sixth. He struck out with the bases loaded in the eighth, finishing 3 for 4 with three RBI on consecutive nights.
"Probably the worst I've thrown a baseball in a month and a half, two months," Price said. "Tonight was all on me. I didn't do my job."
Both Price and Casali attended Vanderbilt, although at different times.
"He's going to have to find some else to play golf with in the offseason," Price said. "I told him not to hit any more homers off of me before the game and he hit two. Good for Curt. He's been swinging the bat extremely well. He works hard, so I appreciate that."
Jake Odorizzi (6-6) allowed one run and six hits over six innings to improve to 2-1 since returning from a five-week stint on the disabled list.
Yoenis Cespedes homered for the second straight night for the Tigers, who've lost four of five to start a 10-game game road trip and dropped 13 1/2 games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central. The solo shot briefly tied it at 1 in the fourth.
Price, whose future in Detroit is the subject of speculation with Friday's major league trade deadline looming, allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings to lose his third straight start.
"That had zero effect on tonight," Price said.
The 2012 AL Cy Young winner and five-time All-Star was part of four teams that made the playoffs in seven seasons with Tampa Bay. He was traded to the Tigers hours before the July 31 deadline a year ago.
Tampa Bay did most of its damage against Price in two innings. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled and scored on Tim Beckham's single in the second, then doubled to drive in a run ahead of Casali's two-run homer that made it 4-1 in the fourth.
"(Price) is one of my best friends," Casali said. "To do it off of him, with what he's accomplished in his career, was really special for me."
Casali also homered twice to help the Rays win the series opener on Monday. He's gone deep six times in his last six games with a plate appearance and six of his last eight hits have been home runs.
Evan Longoria homered leading off a five-run, eighth inning for Tampa Bay.
Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera (strained left calf) is running at 70 percent on a treadmill and is expected back in mid-to-late August.
While the Tigers have struggled, the AL Central-leading Royals have added pitcher Johnny Cueto and INF-OF Ben Zobrist in trades the past few days.
"Makes them stronger, makes them better," Ausmus said. "They're already the best team in the league."
Earlier in the day, the Rays traded OF David DeJesus to the Los Angeles Angels and received minor league RHP Eduar Lopez in return.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (0-3) will try for his first win of the season Wednesday. It's his eighth start since returning from a right triceps injury.
Rays: All-Star RHP Chris Archer (9-7) starts the season finale. He's 0-3 over five starts since beating Toronto on June 23.