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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | August 19, 2017

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Game #92: Cleveland Indians (47-44) at Tampa Bay Rays (47-45)

By Mike Brandyberry

Last night the Indians were down 4-0 early and continuing to not get timely hits when needed. It appeared it would be another evening of offensive ineptness when the Tribe started getting two-out base hits, scraping back into the game in the fifth inning and scoring five runs in the seventh en route to a 10-6 victory over Tampa. Carlos Santana had a huge three-run homer in the seventh inning to break the game open.

The Indians win, combined with the Chicago White Sox loss, gets the Tribe back to only three games behind first place in the American League Central Division. Meanwhile the Detroit Tigers remain hot and have climbed to two and one-half games of first place. The Tigers, the proverbial favorite to win the division in spring training, are getting hot and have won eight of their last 10. The Indians trail Detroit for the final wild card spot by a mere half game, but are not alone. The Tribe is also tied with Baltimore and Oakland in their pursuit of October.

Today the Indians will send Ubaldo Jimenez (8-8, 5.09 ERA) to the mound looking to keep pace in the race and conclude the road trip. Jimenez had his worst outing of the season in his last start, allowing eight runs in two and one-third innings against Toronto last Saturday. He had been pitching like the ace the Tribe had traded for last July, so it will be interesting to see if his last start was a bump in the road or a trend of struggles to come. On July 7, Jimenez defeated the Rays allowing only two runs and striking out eight in six innings.

He’ll need to find that ace dominance for today because Jimenez will be matched up against David Price (12-4, 2.80 ERA). Price is one of the most dominant pitchers in the American League, and left-handed—the Tribe’s kryptonite. The Indians are 10-18 against southpaw starters this season. Price has not lost since June 13. He struck out eight and allowed only two earned runs last Saturday against the Boston Red Sox in a 5-3 victory.

Today’s matinee begins at 12:10 from Tropicana Field in Tampa and can be heard on the Indians Radio Network and viewed on SportsTime Ohio. Today’s game is the last of the series and road trip for the Tribe before they return home for a key seven game homestand with wild card contenders, the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Michael Brantley, DH
5. Carlos Santana, 1B
6. Jose Lopez, 3B
7. Shelley Duncan, LF
8. Lou Marson, C
9. Aaron Cunningham, CF

Tampa Bay Rays Starting Lineup
1. B.J. Upton, CF
2. Carlos Pena, 1B
3. Ben Zobrist, 2B
4. Luke Scott, DH
5. Jeff Keppinger, 3B
6. Hideki Matsui, RF
7. Desmond Jennings, LF
8. Jose Molina, C
9. Sean Rodriguez, SS

Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images