The Detroit Tigers improved to 5-1 on the season with a 7-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit.
22-year old left-hander Drew Smyly made his first start for the Tigers, pitching just four innings, allowing four hits and one earned run and not factoring in the decision. Collin Balester earned the win, pitching two innings in relief and allowing one run.
Detroit took the lead for good in the fifth inning when Andy Dirks tripled to right field, scoring Alex Avila and Brennan Boesch singled to left field to plate two more. Boesch was 2-for-4 with 4 RBI. Prince Fielder, Avila and Dirks each had two hits as well.
Tigers closer Jose Valvered pitched a clean ninth inning to secure the victory and the series win for Detroit.
Detroit heads to Chicago to face the White Sox Friday. Max Scherzer is expected to start the game for the Tigers, while Jake Peavy will thrown for Chicago.
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