Brad Penny pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Alex Avila had an RBI single and the Detroit Tigers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Penny (9-9) gave up one run and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings. He had gone 1-3 with a 6.99 ERA in his previous five starts.
Phil Coke allowed two doubles, two intentional walks and struck out five over the final two innings for his first save. Tigers manager Jim Leyland stuck to his plan of giving eighth-inning setup man Joaquin Benoit and closer Jose Valverde the night off.
After Johnny Damon hit two-out double and Evan Longoria was intentionally walked in the ninth, both advanced one base on Coke's wild pitch. Ben Zobrist then hit three foul balls on 3-2 pitches before grounding out to end the game.