Gregory Soto, Detroit Tigers melt down in 9th inning, lose 7-0 to Tampa Bay Rays

·3 min read

Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila couldn't get the trade package he desired for closer Gregory Soto at Tuesday's deadline.

Those opposing teams may feel a little better now about not relinquishing key pieces for Soto, an All-Star the past two seasons.

Soto entered a scoreless game Sunday in the ninth inning, faced seven batters and retired two, with three consecutive walks bringing in the first two runs of the game, as the Tigers (43-67) melted down in the ninth inning of a 7-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park.

Soto was charged with five runs, after Jason Foley relieved him with the bases loaded and gave up a two-run single, two-run double and RBI single.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Manning delivers in the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park, Aug. 7, 2022.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Manning delivers in the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park, Aug. 7, 2022.

“It’s two outs and a runner on first, and you feel like you are still in command of everything,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Even after a soft double, you still have control — you just need to get the next guy out. Soto just lost his command of everything and it turned into an ugly ending.”

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With the game scoreless in the ninth, Isaac Parades, traded by the Tigers to the Rays for Austin Meadows just before the start of the season, hit a one-out single off Soto (2-6), then took third on a two-out double by Francisco Mejia. Soto walked Jose Siri to load the bases, then missed on a 3-2 pitch to Chang. Soto walked Diaz, his fourth batter of the inning, to make it 2-0.

“When you go up there in the ninth inning of a scoreless game, your first impulse is to do something big,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It isn’t easy to still have the patience to lay off close pitches, but that’s what we were able to do. That turned into a fun inning.”

Foley replaced Soto and allowed a two-run single to Brandon Lowe, a two-run double by Randy Arozarena and an RBI single by Roman Quinn. Paredes, the 11th batter of the inning, struck out.

The ninth-inning crumbling overshadowed a superb effort from Matt Manning in his second start after missing most of the season with right shoulder inflammation.

The 24-year-old pitched seven innings of four-hit ball on 95 pitches, with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Manning, a slender 6-foot-6 right-hander and the ninth overall pick in the 2016 draft out of high school, made his 22nd career start one of his best.

Tigers reliever Gregory Soto walks in a second run during  the ninth inning against the Rays on Aug. 7, 2022 at Comerica Park. Soto suffered the loss.
Tigers reliever Gregory Soto walks in a second run during the ninth inning against the Rays on Aug. 7, 2022 at Comerica Park. Soto suffered the loss.

“I took it as a personal challenge to give the bullpen a break, because they’ve been working their butts off,” Manning said. “I was able to command pitches when I needed — I’d still like to be a little sharper to avoid the walks, but it was really good.”

The Tigers' offense was putrid once again, managing three hits and no walks in 30 at-bats. Riley Greene and Kody Clemens each had a double.

The Tigers (43-67) host Cleveland on Tuesday.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers melt down in 9th, lose 7-0 to Tampa Bay Rays