Rays Plate Four in Seventh, Hold Off Tribe in Ninth; Rays 6, Indians 4
Bob Toth | On 02, Sep 2018
A four-run seventh inning gave the Tampa Bay Rays a 6-0 lead and their bullpen held on for dear life in the ninth to secure a 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon.
The Rays (73-63) won for the eleventh time in their last 13 games and took the series from the Indians (77-59) in the rubber match in a game that got away from Cleveland in a hurry in the seventh frame with the club already down 2-0.
Brandon Lowe kicked off the scoring against Carlos Carrasco in the second inning, jumping on the first pitch and homering to left to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. C.J. Cron followed the same recipe to success in the fourth, sending a first pitch curveball over the wall in center to make it 2-0.
It was an opener’s day for the Rays, who used Diego Castillo to start the game. After four batters, he was lifted for Ryan Yarbrough, who faced the minimum from the second through the sixth, allowing just a Roberto Perez walk in the third.
The Rays broke the game open with a flurry in the seventh to knock out Carrasco and gain a sizable advantage in the contest. Carlos Gomez walked and was sacrificed to second by Adam Moore. Joey Wendle extended his hitting streak with a ground rule double to right-center to make it 3-0 and Tommy Pham won a six-pitch battle by tripling to center to make it 4-0. Neil Ramirez, fresh off of the disabled list after dealing with back spasms, walked Ji-Man Choi before getting Cron to pop out for the second out. Lowe’s big day continued, however, as he doubled to right, plating both Pham and Choi to make it 6-0. Ramirez walked Willy Adames before Tyler Olson came on and struck out Jake Bauers swinging.
The Indians finally got to Yarbrough in the seventh in his sixth inning of relief. Michael Brantley doubled to start the frame and he came in to score on a single to right by Jose Ramirez. Adam Kolarek came on and got the Rays out of the jam, getting Yandy Diaz to fly out and inducing a double play grounder from Yonder Alonso.
A double play killed a scoring opportunity for the Rays in the eighth and Josh Tomlin worked around a two-out double in the ninth by Lowe, his third extra base hit of the day.
Down to their final three outs, the Indians rallied but came up short. Francisco Lindor singled off of Hunter Wood to start the inning. He moved to second on a groundout by Brantley. Ramirez walked and Diaz delivered an RBI-single to center to make it 6-2. Jose Alvarado took over for Wood and struck out Alonso, but Melky Cabrera sent the second pitch that he saw back into left field for a two-run double, cutting the deficit to 6-4. Cabrera moved to third on fielder’s indifference, but Alvarado made it a moot point by striking out Kipnis swinging to end it.
Carrasco lasted six and one-third innings in the tough defeat to drop to 16-8 on the year. The seventh inning would be his unraveling after giving a quality six innings through the first two-thirds of the game. He was charged with five runs in total on nine hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. He lived around the plate, but he showed some great swing and miss stuff throughout the night, as 24 of his 70 strikes were of the swinging variety.
Yarbrough got the win with his impressive relief work to move to 13-5 on the year. He allowed just one base runner from the second through the sixth and was finally hit for a pair of hits and a run in his final inning in the seventh. Alvarado struck out a pair to earn his seventh save of the year.
Five different Rays players had multi-hit games, led by Lowe’s three extra base hits and three RBI. Wendle, Pham, Cron, and Adames all had two each. Eight of the Rays’ 13 hits on the day were for extra bases.
The bottom five hitters in the Tribe lineup combined to go 1-for-17 with a double and a walk and five strikeouts.
Catcher Eric Haase made his Major League debut in the eighth inning, taking over behind the plate with Adam Cimber on the mound. He struck out in his first big league at bat in the bottom of the inning.
The Indians will kick off the final visit of their homestand with a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals this week. Right-hander Adam Plutko (4-4, 4.94 ERA) will get the nod for the Tribe in a special 4:10 PM ET Labor Day start, while the Royals will counter with Jake Junis (7-12, 4.53).
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images