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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | August 22, 2017

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Game #91: Cleveland Indians (46-44) at Tampa Bay Rays (47-44)

By Mike Brandyberry

Last evening the Indians fell behind early and were never able to catch up, losing to the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 4-2. Josh Tomlin started shaky, allowing three runs in the bottom of the first inning before settling down to throw five and two-third innings. However, the inconsistent Indians offense was unable to hit their way back into the game.

The loss combined with the Chicago White Sox’s victory leaves the Tribe four games back of the American League Central Division lead. They remain just one-half game out of the final wild card spot behind the Rays and Tigers who are tied for the final spot. The Indians are tied with two other teams in the wild card race and have two more less than two games behind them. Currently 11 of the AL’s 14 teams are still in playoff contention.

Cleveland will send staff-ace Justin Masterson (6-8, 4.14 ERA) to the mound to try and take the Indians to the top of the wild card standings. Masterson pitched seven shutout innings in his first start after the All-Star break, resulting in a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays, however, seem to have the sinker baller’s number. Masterson has lost his last six decisions against the Rays and is 1-6, with a 8.06 ERA in his career against Tampa.

If Tampa remains hot against Masterson, Jeremy Hellickson (4-6, 3.48 ERA) will be able to reap the benefits of some run support for the first time in a while. Hellickson has only received four runs of support in his last three outings. He is 0-6, with a 4.26 ERA in his last eight starts, including a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Tribe on July 5. Hellickson lost his last start on Friday night against the Boston Red Sox.

Tonight’s game action begins in Tampa at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsTime Ohio and heard on the Indians Radio Network.

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

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

Photo: Getty Images