DETROIT (AP) — Charlie Morton allowed five hits in seven innings, extending his unbeaten streak to 20 starts and leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
Morton (7-0) hasn’t lost since Aug. 11, and only Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, at 21 starts, has a longer active unbeaten streak. Morton struck out eight with no walks and needed just 83 pitches to complete seven innings.
Austin Meadows tripled and scored on a throwing error in the third to open the scoring. Tampa Bay scored two more runs in the fifth and snapped its four-game losing streak.
Spencer Turnbull (3-5) allowed three runs in five innings.
The Rays have allowed the fewest runs in baseball, but they’d yielded nine in each of their previous two games. Morton put a stop to that, improving to 10-0 with a 2.86 ERA during his unbeaten run. The teams played through rain in the early innings, but the conditions didn’t seem to bother the Tampa Bay right-hander.
The Rays scored first when Meadows, the American League’s leading hitter, tripled to the gap in right-center field, then came home on second baseman Harold Castro’s throwing error. Castro’s bouncing throw got past third, and Turnbull wasn’t backing up the play.
Tampa Bay added two runs with two outs in the fifth. Avisail Garcia hit an RBI double, and Ji-Man Choi followed with a run-scoring single. In the eighth, the Rays made it 4-0 on another throwing error by Castro. This time, he threw wildly to first while trying to complete a double play.
Detroit’s JaCoby Jones singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
Rays: OF Tommy Pham, who has been battling right calf trouble, missed his fifth straight game but pronounced himself ready to play Thursday. … C Michael Perez (right oblique) played his first rehab game for Class A Charlotte on Tuesday night. … INF Joey Wendle (right wrist) is expected to play his first rehab game Thursday with Charlotte.
Rays: Tampa Bay had not announced a starter for Thursday’s series finale prior to Wednesday night’s game.
Tigers: Daniel Norris (2-4) takes the mound against the Rays.