ST. PETERSBURG, Fla, (AP) Curtis Mead hit his first home run of the season and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 7-5 on Wednesay night to avoid a three-game sweep.

Ben Rortvedt collected his second RBI of the game with a single and scored on Mead's two-run drive off Will Vest (1-1) that put the Rays ahead for good in the sixth inning. It was Mead's first homer since Sept. 22.

Tampa Bay had lost three in row and five of seven.

“Awesome, for sure,” Rortvedt said. “Especially losing the first two games, our backs are against the wall. Really trying to come out with a win as we go into the off day. This is huge for us.”

The Tigers completed a six-game trip at 4-2 and are 10-4 on the road this season.

'Well, the series win is nice," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said, “We’re’re happy with the road trip. It doesn’t end well. But keeping things in perspective, we’re doing some good things and we’re winning series, which is key. You want to get greedy when you have the chance to sweep. They came up bigger in the big moments and won the game.”

After trailing by three early, Detroit took a 5-4 lead in the sixth on Buddy Kennedy's run-scoring single and Javier Báez's 600th career RBI that came on a double against Chris Devenski (1-1).

Jason Adam went two perfect innings before Garrett Cleavinger worked the ninth to get his second save in as many chances.

“That’s the beauty of baseball, you have a rough night or whatever you get to go back out,” Adam said. “I’d take this team over any other team in the league over the long run.”

Mark Canha picked up his fourth and fifth RBIs in the series with a fifth-inning single off former Tigers' left-hander Tyler Alexander that got the Tigers within 4-3.

Alexander allowed two runs and three hits in four innngs. He went 11-23 in 120 games, including 43 starts, with the Tigers from 2019-23.

“I’ve stayed away from him this series because I don’t want to like him this series," Hinch said with a smile before the game. “I’ll love him tomorrow.”

Canha’s two-out hit came after right fielder Amed Rosario grabbed Riley Greene’s drive to the warning track and held onto the ball after colliding with center fielder Randy Arozarena.

Rortvedt had an RBI double in a three-run third off Jack Flaherty as the Rays took a 4-1 lead. Flaherty gave up four runs and seven hits over five innings.

Arozarena, mired in a 9 for 77 (.117) slide in April entering the game, pulled Tampa Bay even at 1 with his first homer since March 31 in the first inning. The 2023 All-Star has three homers this season and is hitting .158 after going 1 for 4 with three strikeouts.


Rays: CF Jose Siri missed the game to get treatment for a kidney stone. He is expected back for the upcoming series at the Chicago White Sox.


Tigers: RHP Reese Olson (0-3, 3.80 ERA) faces Kansas City on Friday night.

Rays: Have not announced their start for Friday night’s game against the White Sox.



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