by Steve Carney
Jeremy Hellickson got stronger as the afternoon progressed, and Luke Scott had two hits, including a grand slam, as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Detroit Tigers 11-5 in Lakeland Tuesday.
Hellickson labored through the first two innings, allowing RBI singles to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the first inning to give Detroit an early 2-0 lead, and an RBI double by Austin Jackson in the second pushed Detroit's lead back to two runs after Chris Gimenez delivered a run-scoring single off Doug Fister in the top of the inning.
Tampa Bay's bats exploded in the fourth, as Jack Cust led off the inning with a double, and moved to third base on an error by Prince Fielder. Chris Gimenez struck out for the first out, but Jose Lobaton picked him up with a single to score Cust to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Desmond Jennings' single plated Roberts with the tying run, and after Ben Zobrist flew out, Matt Joyce walked to load the bases for Scott, who took the first pitch he saw from Fister and launched it over the scoreboard in RF to give Tampa Bay their first lead.
The Rays added to their lead in the sixth, as Desmond Jennings walked to start the frame against Kyle Lobstein. Two batters later, Matt Joyce moved Jennings to third base, and Leslie Anderson followed with a single to plate the centerfielder for an 8-3 lead.
Sean Rodriguez then executed the safety squeeze to plate Joyce while making the second out, and Shelley Duncan followed with his fourth home run of the spring, a two-run blast to make it 11-3.
Devon Travis hit a two-run homer off Brandon Gomes in the eighth to set the score at 11-5.
Tampa Bay will head to Fort Myers for a Wednesday night matchup with the Minnesota Twins, with Matt Moore taking on Mike Pelfrey. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, with pregame coverage on 620 WDAE starting at 7:00.