St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Austin Jackson hit a solo homer and drove in two runs and Doug Fister tossed seven scoreless innings to lift the Detroit Tigers over the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-0, in the finale of a four-game series.
Fister (6-13) gave up five hits and struck out five batters for the Tigers, who hold a 6 1/2-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central.
Desmond Jennings, Casey Kotchman and Sam Fuld had two hits apiece for the Rays, who went 4-3 on a seven-game homestand.
Jeremy Hellickson (11-9) allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings to take the hard-luck loss. He struck out seven and walked one.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, as Jackson led off the game with a homer to left.
Detroit added a run in the fifth. Ryan Raburn led off with a double to left, moved to third on Omir Santos' groundout and scored on Jackson's sac fly for a 2-0 margin.
Fister was perfect through four innings, but that came to an end in the home fifth. With one out, Kotchman hit a sharp liner to third. Wilson Betemit couldn't handle the ball and Kotchman reached on an infield single. Fuld's two-out single put men on first and second. Sean Rodriguez struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Tigers had a runner thrown out at home in the sixth. Victor Martinez hit a one-out double and tried to score on Betemit's bloop single to right. A strong throw home allowed catcher Kelly Shoppach to make a nice tag on Martinez.
Tampa Bay stranded men on second and third in the seventh.
The Rays put men on the corners in the ninth. Jose Valverde walked Kotchman and gave up a single to Matt Joyce with one out. Joyce took off running on Fuld's fly ball to right. Raburn made the catch and tossed to first for the easy game-ending double play. Valverde picked up his 38th save of the season.
The Tigers placed first baseman Miguel Cabrera on paternity leave and recalled catcher Santos from Triple-A Toledo...Detroit outfielder Brennan Boesch (thumb) missed the game...The Rays were without outfielder B.J. Upton (shoulder)...Fister improved to 2-2 in five career meetings with Tampa Bay...The Tigers have won six of seven.