Cobb (1-0) pitched 7.1 innings and recorded six strikeouts and only allowed four hits in the Rays’ 6-0 win over the visiting Indians. Tampa Bay improves to 3-2 on the season while Cleveland drops to 2-3.
“Well the first four hitters were rough. That’s not the best way to start the game. To his credit, he reeled it in,” Cleveland Manager Terry Francona said.
After the Tribe went without a fight in the top of the first, Bauer (0-1) took the mound and stared down Desmond Jennings.
From the extreme first-base side of the rubber, Bauer reached back and fired his first pitch in a Cleveland Indians’ uniform: a strike to Jennings. After the first pitch, though, Bauer threw four straight balls put the leadoff man on first.
In sharp contrast to the first inning, Bauer sat the Rays down in order in the bottom of the second; ex-Indian Shelley Duncan struck out swinging, Jose Molina grounded out to Asdrubal Cabrera at short and Kelly Johnson flied out to end the inning.
“When he works ahead, his stuff is so good (hitters) have to respect his off speed, his change up, his breaking ball,” Francona said.
Cleveland looked allergic to runners in scoring position early in the game. In the top of the third, Raburn singled to center and Lou Marson walked. Michael Bourn bunted down the third baseline, but just too hard, as Evan Longoria was able to pick off Marson at second. Cabrera and Jason Kipnis hit respective pop outs to end the inning without plating a run.
Much like in the first, Jennings walked to start the bottom of the third. He swiped second and, on the next pitch, took third as well. Jennings came charging home when Joyce grounded into a fielder’s choice. Lonnie Chisenhall fired the ball home to Marson who took a shot to the head from Jennings’ shoulder but held on to record the first out of the inning. Marson would eventually leave the game with a neck strain.
“He’s a hard-nosed kid. He saved a run there,” Francona said of Marson.
After the collision at home, Bauer walked Zobrist, which moved Joyce to second. Longoria grounded out to third in the next at-bat that moved Joyce and Zobrist over. Another walk dealt to James Loney filled the bases again, but Bauer snuck out of it unscathed.
Bauer wasn’t so lucky in the next inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Molina hit a one-out single to left just before Johnson homered to right field to put the Rays up 3-0.
Cleveland’s bats remained quiet the rest of the game as they only recorded two hits in the fifth and sixth inning—two singles from Chisenhall and Swisher, respectively. The seventh was more of the same. Carlos Santana, who came in for the injured Marson, walked but was erased when Chisenhall grounded into a double play.
Matt Albers relieved Bauer in the sixth. Albers gave up one run on a Duncan single that scored Escobar to increase the Tampa lead to 4-0.
Joel Peralta took the mound for Tampa with one out in the seventh and recorded the final two outs by getting Bourn and Cabrera to fly out.
Tampa plated two more runs in the eighth when Loney doubled to deep left to bring Joyce and Longoria home, widening the gap to 6-0.
Cleveland went quietly in the ninth to end the game. The Indians were shut out for the second night in a row as they only recorded five hits.
Photo: J. Meric/Getty Images