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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | August 24, 2017

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Game Preview #83: Tampa Bay Rays (43-40) at Cleveland Indians (43-39)

By Mike Brandyberry

Last evening the Cleveland Indians used the long ball and Josh Tomlin’s best start of the season to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1. Shin-Soo Choo led off the game with a solo home run, Michael Brantley followed an inning later and Travis Hafner added the necessary insurance in the ninth for the offense. Tomlin pitched seven strong innings, allowing only two hits and one run for the victory.

Tonight, the Indians will try to extend their hot steak with Justin Masterson (5-7, 3.92 ERA) on the mound. Cleveland has won six of its last eight games, including Masterson’s most recent start last Sunday. He pitched seven innings, allowing two runs—one earned—on five hits, while walking none and striking out seven. Masterson took a perfect game into the fifth inning. He’ll try to keep the struggling Rays’ lineup in control. Tampa is hitting .231 as a team for the year and has six players in tonight’s lineup hitting .234 or lower on the year.

The Rays will send Alex Cobb (3-5, 4.94 ERA) to the hill to try and slow down the Tribe. Cobb has wilted in the summer heat, going 1-5, with a 5.77 ERA in his last six outings. Last Sunday he was defeated by the Detroit Tigers when he pitched five and one-third innings and allowed four earned runs.  Tampa is looking to avoid a five game losing skid on the road.

Part of Tampa’s skid and offensive struggles has been centered around Luke Scott. Scott has not had a hit in his last 39 at bats, closing in on the Major League record of 46, held by Eugenio Velez. The Rays’ offense has suffered from the loss of Evan Longoria.

The Indians activated Shelley Duncan from the paternity list prior to the game. Duncan had been placed on the list prior to the July 4 game with his wife expecting to have twins. He used two of the allowable three days before returning to the team. Jason Donald was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Duncan.

Game time is slated for 7:05 pm at Progressive Field. Prior to the game the Indians will rename Eagle Avenue for legend, Larry Doby. The game can be seen on SportsTime Ohio and heard on 1100-AM WTAM, 100.7-FM WMMS and the rest of the Indians Radio Network.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Travis Hafner, DH
5. Carlos Santana, C
6. Michael Brantley, CF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Johnny Damon, LF
9. Jack Hannahan, 3B

Tampa Bay Rays Starting Lineup
1. Desmond Jennings, LF
2. Carlos Pena, 1B
3. Ben Zobrist, RF
4. B.J. Upton, CF
5. Luke Scott, DH
6. Brooks Conrad, 3B
7. Jose Lobaton, C
8. Will Rhymes, 2B
9. Elliot Johnson, SS

Photo: AP Photo