ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) â€” David Price became the AL's first 14-game winner, Carlos Pena had four RBIs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 4-2 Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.
Price (14-5) allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, tying the team record for wins in season. He struck out nine and walked two.
Pena hit a second-inning solo homer and added a two-run single during the third that went off the glove of first baseman Miguel Cabrera to put the Rays up 3-1. Pena made it 4-2 with an eighth-inning infield single that deflected off the glove of a lunging Cabrera.
Rays manager Joe Maddon's unconventional approach worked for the third consecutive game when he intentionally walked Cabrera with runners on first and second in the seventh with two outs. With Tampa Bay ahead 3-2, Randy Choate retired Brennan Boesch on a grounder.
Boesch struck out and flied out against Grant Balfour in the similar circumstance Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rick Porcello (4-9) gave up four runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, and he has lost five consecutive decisions for the first time in his major league career. Detroit has lost 10 straight road games and is 3-12 since the All-Star break.
Tampa Bay has won six straight and is 19-6 since June 30. Dan Wheeler pitched the final two innings to pick up his second save.
Second-place Tampa Bay opens a home three-game series with the AL East-leading New York Yankees on Friday night.
It will be the Yankees first trip to Florida since owner George Steinbrenner, who resided in nearby Tampa, died of a heart attack on July 13. The Boss had been planning to see his team play in person this weekend for the first time since opening day at Yankee Stadium, when he received his 2009 World Series ring from team captain Derek Jeter and manager Joe Girardi.
Yankees co-chairmen Hal and Hank Steinbrenner are expected to be in attendance.
Detroit tied it 1-all in the third inning on Ramon Santiago's RBI grounder. Austin Jackson pulled the Tigers to 3-2 with a run-scoring single in the seventh.
NOTES: Cabrera struck out in his other three at-bats. ... James Shields (2008), Edwin Jackson (2008) and Rolando Arrojo (1998) had 14-win seasons for Tampa Bay. ... Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Rays 3B Evan Longoria has become an MVP candidate. "He's one of the players I really admire a lot," Leyland said. "He's a perfect example of an excellent, excellent, two-way player. ... Rays INF-OF Ben Zobrist (lower back stiffness) and CF B.J. Upton (sprained left ankle) were both out of the lineup.