Indians fall hard to Tampa Bay 9-2, end play Saturday morning
Rain delays amount for over four hours, Tribe offense manages one hit
One could say Friday’s game between the Indians and Tampa Bay Rays lasted two months.
While the box score may say the ballgame took two hours and 59 minutes to complete, it doesn’t account for four hours and 49 minutes of rain delays. Or the fact that play began in May and ended in June.
When it was all said and done, the Tribe fell just as hard as the rain did losing to the Rays 9-2.
The scheduled 7:05 p.m. start time was pushed back 1 hour and 57 minutes before play officially got underway at 9:02 p.m. Tribe starter Corey Kluber took the hill but would only pitch a scoreless 1 2/3 innings before the grounds crew put the tarp back on the field at 9:18 p.m.
Just 13 minutes later, the big white tarp would again come off the field for one batter. Then, for two hours and 37 minutes, Tribe fans endured the longest rain delay of the season.
“If you could predict the weather here, you’re better than me,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Playing just 1 1/2 innings, play would resume for the 2,000-plus die-hard fans at 12:13 a.m. in the bottom of the second.
“Once it starts and the umpires take over, and there was a lot of cooperation on their part trying to insure that if we did play we would play nine,” Francona said. “I thought they handled it very well.”
Barnes would get two of the first three Rays hitters out before Tampa Bay outfielder Matt Joyce crushed a two-run homer to the empty seats in right field.
On a mere 11 pitches by Barnes after two men were out, the Indians found themselves quickly down 5-0 and would never recover.
“The inning kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Francona said. “After that long layoff, all of a sudden we’re down five. It was just a tough night.”
Barnes agreed as the southpaw would last just the one inning giving up all five runs on just four hits.
“I know my role on the team, it just didn’t work out that way,” Barnes said. “I just got to put it behind me. Unfortunately I left a few balls up tonight and paid for it.”
Known mostly as a lefty specialist, Barnes (0-1, 7.27 ERA) has given up a total of six runs in just four innings against left-handed batters this season
“It was a tough inning,” Francona said. “It was setup nice and we were hoping for some length with him, but it just didn’t work out that way.”
Offensively, Cleveland was only able to string together just one hit into the wee hours of the night…an RBI double by right fielder Ryan Raburn in the fifth.
The other Indians run in the home half of the fifth came on a sac-fly by catcher Yan Gomes.
“We had plenty of opportunities,” third baseman Mark Reynolds said. “We just couldn’t get anything going. I think we swung at a lot of their pitches tonight.”
Thanks to Mother Nature, Rays starter Matt Moore stays undefeated at 8-0 as he lasted just one scoreless inning.
Coming off a career-high 10 strikeout performance on Wednesday, Kluber worked two scoreless innings without allowing a hit and striking out three.
“I felt like I had all my pitches working and I was comfortable out there” Kluber said. “It was unfortunate I was only able to go a couple.”
Over his last four starts, the 27-year old right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA spanning 21 innings, giving up just two walks and 26 strikeouts.
“It was an abbreviated outing because of the circumstances, but it had the makings of a pretty good matchup,” Francona said.
Tribe relievers Matt Albers and Nick Hagadone each worked two scoreless innings after Barnes, before Bryan Shaw served up Loney’s second home run of the game in the eighth inning. Lefty Rich Hill gave up the final three Tampa Bay runs in the ninth on five hits, while also striking out three in the inning.
The final out in the bottom of the ninth came at 2:55 a.m. on a Nick Swisher groundout to third base.
“You play when they tell you to and the best you can,” Francona said. “It’s a lot easier when you have a lead.”
With the loss, Cleveland (29-25) remains just a half game in back of first place Detroit in the American League Central.
It’s a quick turnaround for both clubs, as they play the second game of the three-game set Saturday at 1:05 p.m.Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 5.57 ERA) will take the hill for the Wahoo’s against former Tribe prospect Chris Archer (1-0, 0.00 ERA).
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still think the Tribe can take this series, need a quality start from Ubaldo today to save that 'pen
Thats a good one Jim, "The game started in May and ended in June".
Maybe the umps didn't see the forcast just like they couldn't see the fantom tag on Bourn.