ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Norris, Drew VerHagen and Joe Jimenez combined on a five-hitter to outpitch Charlie Morton, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Friday night.
Norris went the first three innings, VerHagen pitched five and Jimenez earned his seventh save by striking out Eric Sogard with two men on base to end the game.
VerHagen (3-2), who came into the game with an 8.03 ERA, gave up only three hits and two of them were erased by double plays.
The Rays, in current possession of the American League’s second wild-card spot, opened a six-game homestand after returning from a 5-1 road trip with a major league-best 40-23 record away from home. They are 31-29 at home.
Only three runners reached second base for the Rays, who have lost 10 of their last 17 at Tropicana Field.
Dawel Lugo scored the Tigers’ first run on a passed ball after a double by Niko Goodrum off Morton in the fourth.
Doubles by Travis Demeritte and Jordy Mercer off reliever Pete Fairbanks made it 2-0 in the eighth.
Morton (13-5) gave up one unearned run on three hits in seven innings. It was the 19th time in 26 starts he has given up two runs or less, and the 20th time he has given up five hits or less.
Norris gave up one hit and two walks, striking out three.
Miguel Cabrera struck out in all four of his at-bats for the Tigers, three of them against Morton.
Matt Duffy had three of Tampa Bay’s five hits.
SIXTH STOP FOR FAIRBANKS
Fairbanks, recalled from Triple-A Durham on Friday, showed up in his sixth different clubhouse of the season. Fairbanks, 25 and coming off his second Tommy John surgery, pitched at all three minor levels and in eight games for the Texas Rangers, who traded him to the Rays for infield prospect Nick Solak on July 13.
Tigers: OF Christin Stewart (concussion) will play a couple more games in the field for Triple-A Toledo before the Tigers determine when to activate him.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow, out since May 11 with a strained right forearm, will throw fastballs off a mound Monday. … IF Brandon Lowe (bruised right shin) and IF Joe Wendle (right wrist inflammation) will alternate between DH and the infield for two games at Class A Charlotte before moving up to Triple-A Durham for more rehab games.
RHP Jordan Zimmermann (right cervical spasm) will return from the 10-day injured list Saturday and pitch the second game of the series for the Tigers against LHP Ryan Yarbrough, who came within one out of the Rays’ first complete game in three years Sunday at Seattle.