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Tigers, Rays Meet For Make-Up Game

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers take aim at first place in the American League Central this evening when they play a make-up game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park.

Tonight's contest was rescheduled from a May 25 contest in a series that saw the Tigers win the first two games. Tampa, though, took six of seven in the matchup a year ago.

The Tigers enter this matchup after splitting a four-game set with the Seattle Mariners, but are tied atop the division standings with the slumping Cleveland Indians. Detroit wasted an opportunity to take over the top spot on Sunday, as Miguel Olivo hit two home runs in Seattle's 7-3 win.

Alex Avila drove in two of the Tigers' runs, while Rick Porcello (6-4) suffered the loss, as he yielded three runs on six hits while fanning five.

"That's what makes this one so frustrating," Porcello said. "We were in the position to win today and take three out of four. Just that one inning cost us all that. It's tough but we'll have to turn the page on this one and move forward."

Going forward tonight the Tigers will hand the ball to lefty Phil Coke, who was hit hard in his return from the disabled list on Wednesday. Coke, making his first appearance since May 23, was roughed up by the Texas Rangers for six runs (four earned) and 10 hits in five innings, dropping him to 1-6 on the year to go along with a 4.11 ERA.

Coke's previous start came against Tampa, but was short lived as he left that outing after injuring his foot. He is 0-1 in 15 appearances against the Rays with a 1.56 ERA. Tonight, though, will be just his second start against them.

Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with rookie Alex Cobb, who is 1-0 with a 4.24 ERA. Cobb picked up his first big league win on Tuesday in Anaheim, as he allowed just a run and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

The Rays won for the fifth time in their last six games on Sunday, as Evan Longoria hit a two-run inside-the-park homer and drove in three in Tampa Bay's 9-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the rubber match of a three-game set at Camden Yards.

"As soon as I got around second I was pretty much committed to going home. There wasn't anything slowing me down around third," said Longoria.

Johnny Damon had a solo homer and knocked in a pair, while Kelly Shoppach added a two-run single for Tampa Bay, which has won six of eight. Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 with three runs scored.

Wade Davis (5-5) allowed five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits in six-plus innings, fanning three and walking one. J.P. Howell got the final three outs to pick up his first save of the season.