Price Shuts Down Tribe to Split Series; Rays 6, Indians 0
By Mike Brandyberry
After last night’s come-from-behind victory, the Tribe might have had some momentum rolling in to today’s series and road trip finale. However, the wind was removed from their sails quickly and the Rays sent the Indians home, 6-0, to end the road trip.
While it took a little time for the Rays to blow the game open, the Indians had no answer for David Price all day. The southpaw was in command from the beginning, highlighting all the Tribe’s struggles against lefties. On the other hand, Tampa seemed to be a hit away from some runs in every inning against Jimenez until they finally wore him down.
The Rays cracked the scoreboard early when Luke Scott hit a Jimenez splitter that hung up over the middle of the plate. Scott’s solo home run was crushed so deep to right field that it hit the catwalk above the wall. Scott has 14 hits against the Indians this season and none against any other MLB team since June 2.
The Tribe had a chance to score in the top of the fifth inning when Carlos Santana led off with a walk and Jose Lopez followed with a base hit to centerfield putting runners on first and second with no one out. However, Shelley Duncan promptly struck out for the first out, then Santana was thrown out trying to steal third for the second out. After a wild pitch to advance Lopez to third, Lou Marson walked to put runners on the corners, but Aaron Cunningham flied out to centerfield to end the inning and leave the Tribe scoreless.
Jimenez continued to grind through the game, working in and out of jams. However, the Rays put him in a corner they wouldn’t let him wiggle out of in the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Tribe still trailing just 1-0.
After the first two hitters were retired, Desmond Jennings was hit by a pitch followed by a single by Jose Molina base hit and a Sean Rodriguez walk to load the bases. After a mound visit from Indians pitching coach Scott Radinsky, B.J. Upton jumped on the first pitch and laced a double down the left field line to score all three Rays and make the game 4-0, Tampa.
Jimenez’s day would be done, pitching five and two-third innings, allowing seven hits, five runs—all earned—with five walks and five strikeouts. Too many base runners for Jimenez eventually caught up with him as he was not able to elude the sixth inning jam. He threw 103 pitches in his 17 outs.
Meanwhile Price made short work of the Indians for seven innings, carving up the Tribe by only allowing two hits and walking three. He lowered his 2.80 ERA to 2.64 with his seven shutout innings. With the exception of the fifth inning, the Indians could not muster any kind of rally against Price, dropping their record against left-handed starters to 10-19 on the season.
If the Indians weren’t buried yet, the Rays put the final shovel of dirt on the Indians in the seventh inning when Scott doubled to deep centerfield to lead off the inning and Jeff Keppinger doubled him home. Barnes allowed a run in his inning and one-third of work and allowed the runner he inherited to score. Despite the Tribe being thin on the left side of the bullpen, his 8.10 ERA has to be earning him a return trip to Columbus soon.
With the Detroit Tigers win this afternoon the Indians will return home for a seven game homestand beginning Friday and find themselves a game and a half behind the wild card lead. They’ll have to wait until tonight to find out their distance from the top of the American League Central Division. Regardless of their standing in the division, this upcoming seven game homestand could be pivotal in their wild card pursuit, taking on the Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.
The Tribe will begin to fight for their wild card lives tomorrow evening against the Orioles with Derek Lowe (8-7, 4.43 ERA) on the mound for the Indians. He’ll be opposed by Miguel Gonzalez (1-1, 2.59 ERA) of the O’s. Game time at Progressive Field is slated for 7:05 pm and fans can enjoy free parking in the Gateway East garage during Transportation Weekend.
Photo: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara