ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Jonny Gomes stopped Tampa Bay’s 10-game losing streak in dramatic fashion Saturday night, hitting a two-run, ninth-inning homer off Troy Percival to beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4.

The Devil Rays were two outs away from owning the longest skid in the majors this season when Travis Lee singled. Gomes smashed the next pitch over the 404-foot sign in straightaway center.

Ivan Rodriguez, Dmitri Young and Chris Shelton hit solo homers off Hideo Nomo for the Tigers before Tampa Bay began its comeback with Jorge Cantu’s RBI grounder in the fourth and Carl Crawford’s two-run double off Jason Johnson in the fifth.

Returning to the Tigers lineup after missing two games with a jammed left pinkie finger, Rodriguez also had a fifth-inning sacrifice fly to give Johnson a 4-1 lead. The Detroit starter left with a 4-3 lead after allowing eight hits in seven inning.

Kyle Farnsworth pitched a perfect eighth for the Tigers, and Percival (1-3) retired the first batter in the ninth before running into trouble.

Danys Baez (5-2) pitched the ninth for the win.

The game drew an announced crowd of 9,320 in nasty weather and driving conditions caused by Hurricane Dennis.

Several tornadoes in the Tampa Bay caused minor damage, and the Devil Rays said fans holding tickets for Saturday night may exchange them for one of 12 future dates, whether they were in attendance or not.

Rodriguez’s homer, which struck one of the catwalks that support the roof at Tropicana Field, was his sixth of the season and first since June 7. Young, who began the night batting .185 since May 31, followed with his 14th of the season for a 3-0 lead.

Tampa Bay won for just the second time in 15 games. They were outscored 65-32 and pitched to a 6.38 ERA during the 10-game skid that matched Colorado (April 24-May 7) for the longest this season.

Notes: Detroit RF Magglio Ordonez and 2B Placido Polanco had the night off. … When Crawford, the two-time defending AL stolen base champion, swiped his 27th of the season on Friday night, he became the fifth player in major league history to accumulate 150 steals and 500 hits before their 24th birthday. Ty Cobb, Cesar Cedeno, Sherry Magee and Rickey Henderson are the others. … Nomo allowed four runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He’s given up three homers in a game twice has yielded a team-high 15 in 98 innings.

AP-ES-07-09-05 2107EDT


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