Game Preview #85: Tampa Bay Rays (44-41) at Cleveland Indians (44-40)
By Mike Brandyberry
Saturday evening the Indians used a hit from nearly every batter in the lineup and an outstanding pitching performance by Ubaldo Jimenez to win 7-3. The Tribe plated runs in the second and third innings to take the lead and give Jimenez more than enough to cruise. Cleveland’s victory keeps them three games behind the Chicago White Sox.
Today, the Indians will look to close out the first half of the regular season with Zach McAllister (3-1, 3.93 ERA) on the mound. McAllister is making his third start since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus on June 28. He earned the win on Tuesday against the Angels in a 9-5 win. McAllister pitched six innings, allowing eight hits, five runs, but only three were earned. Jack Hannahan made a key error to cost McAllister two runs. All his runs were in the fifth inning of the game. He has never faced the Tampa Bay Rays.
Tampa will try to even the series with James Shields (8-5, 4.11 ERA). He’ll be looking for back-to-back victories for the first time since May. Shields, however, has not had great success in his career against the Tribe. He has a 3.83 career ERA in eight starts against the Tribe, but has lost five of six decisions because he has only received 2.44 runs of support over nine innings. Shields defeated the Yankees on Tuesday, pitching seven innings and allowing four earned runs.
The Indians will officially add Scott Barnes to the active roster today to replace Nick Hagadone, who was optioned to Triple-A Columbus yesterday. Barnes had to wait the extra day because a player must be in the minor leagues for at least 10 days before being recalled if it is not for an injury purpose. Today Barnes becomes eligible and will be available in the bullpen.
After no television on Saturday evening, today’s game will resume its TV broadcast place on WKYC-3 and still be heard on the Indians Radio Network. Game action begins at 1:05 pm from Progressive Field.
Photo: AP Photo/Mark Duncan