DETROIT — Steven Souza Jr. has been looking forward to playing on Father’s Day since his son Micah was born in December.
The day ended up more memorable than he could have imagined.
"It was special to hit one for my mom on Mother’s Day, but today was for both my dad and for my son," he said. "When I got back to the dugout, I looked into the camera, thanked my dad, told Micah that I love him and thanked my wife for making all of this possible.
"I can’t wait to get home tonight and see them."
Logan Morrison had two of Tampa Bay’s five homers, while Derek Norris and Evan Longoria each had one. The Rays won the last two games of the four-game series after being outscored 18-7 in the first two.
"It’s huge to come back and split a series against a team like, especially after playing two ugly games to start," Souza said.
The Tigers went 2-4 on their six-game homestand and have lost seven of their last 10. Detroit is now 32-36 and in fourth place, 4 1/2 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central.
"It was a crappy homestand, quite frankly," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We’re not going to make any strides if we keep playing like this."
Jacob Faria (3-0) allowed one run, six hits and a walk in seven innings. He struck out a career-high nine. Faria is the second starting pitcher in Rays history to win his first three career games, joining Jeremy Hellickson.
"My secret is not shaking off Derek," Faria said. "He knows these hitters a lot better than I do, so I’m letting him make the decisions."
Buck Farmer (2-1) allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings, and has now allowed 13 runs in 4 2/3 innings over his last two starts. Farmer gave up five hits, including three homers, walked one batter and hit another.
"I have to execute pitches, and in the last two games, I haven’t done that," he said.
Farmer was demoted to Triple-A Toledo after the game.
"It’s always difficult being sent down, but it is probably for the best."
Morrison gave the Rays a 2-0 lead in the first with his 20th homer of the season, a drive off the railing above the right-field fence.
Justin Upton’s RBI single made it 2-1 in the bottom of the first, but Norris restored the two-run lead with a homer in the third.
Later in the inning, the Rays loaded the bases with a single, a hit batter and a walk before Souza made it 7-1 with his first grand slam.
Longoria and Morrison gave the Rays an eight-run lead with back-to-back homers off Chad Bell in the seventh. It was Tampa’s ninth set of back-to-back homers this season, tying a franchise record set in 2007 and tied in 2008.
The first pitch was delayed 31 minutes by rain.
Rays: C Wilson Ramos (ACL tear) caught six innings for Triple-A Durham on Saturday, marking the first time he had caught on back-to-back days in his rehab process. He had a scheduled day off on Sunday.
Tigers: DH Victor Martinez (irregular heartbeat) is expected to stay away from any activity while the Tigers are on a seven-game road trip. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said if his heart rate remains normal, Martinez could resume light cardio activity in about a week.
MORRISON’S MEMORABLE DAY
Morrison has dedicated much of his career to his father, who died of lung cancer during his rookie season. He runs a charity baseball camp in his dad’s honour and pays tribute to his military service with a Coast Guard salute after each home run.
"I’m sure having a game like this on Father’s Day was special for LoMo, because we all know how close he was to his dad," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus announced before the game that Anibal Sanchez will return from Triple-A Toledo and start Monday’s game in Seattle, with the Tigers moving temporarily to a six-man rotation. Sanchez posted a 9.00 ERA in 11 games as a long reliever before voluntarily going to Toledo to work on transitioning back to a starting role. In four starts with the Mud Hens, he went 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA.
However, with Farmer being sent down to make room for Sanchez, the Tigers are back at five starters.
Rays: Tampa opens a six-game, seven-day homestand Monday, with RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.77) facing Cincinnati’s Scott Feldman (5-5, 4.29).
Tigers: Detroit heads to the west coast for seven games in seven days against Seattle and San Diego. Sanchez (0-0, 9.00) will start the opener against the Mariners against Sam Gaviglio (3-1, 3.41).