Cleveland, OH – Evan Longoria
and Yunel Escobar
both hit two-run home runs as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cleveland Indians, 11-3.
With the win, the Rays won the rubber match of the three-game series, improving their record to 31-25. They are now 2.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, though they sit in fourth place in the hotly-contested division.
The Indians remain a half game behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central after the Tigers lost to the Baltimore Orioles.
The Rays took advantage of Indians starter Zach McAllister
early and often. In the first inning, Matt Joyce and Kelly Johnson
reached base with one out via a single and walk. After a ground out, James Loney
doubled off the glove of center fielder Michael Bourn
in deep center, scoring both runners.
Loney is now hitting .326 on the season with 30 runs driven in.
Tampa Bay added solo runs with RBI singles in the third and fourth innings to extend its lead 4-0.
With Johnson on second after a single and a ground out, catcher Yan Gomes
overthrew Mark Reynolds
on an attempted stolen base. The error allowed Johnson to score, putting the Rays up 5-3. After a walk to Loney, McAllister was removed from the game.
In four and one-third innings, McAllister (4-5, 3.43) allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks. He failed to strike out a batter.
replaced McAllister and retired the final two hitters in the fifth. He ran into trouble in the sixth, however, allowing a two-run homer to Escobar after a leadoff walk. Hagadone allowed two runs in one and two-thirds innings, ballooning his ERA to 7.20.
After a scoreless inning by Bryan Shaw
, Rich Hill
struggled in the eighth. After back-to-back singles put runners at first and third, Hill induced a fielder’s choice to get the runner at home. Ryan Roberts
followed the out with a pinch-hit, RBI-single. Johnson added another run with a sacrifice fly to put the Rays up 9-3.
Hill left the game after the sacrifice, but was charged with another run when Matt Langwell
allowed a two-run blast to Evan Longoria, bringing the score to 11-3. Hill was charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning while Langwell yielded one run on two hits in his first major league appearance.
(3-2, 5.59) kept the Tribe lineup off balance for most of his five innings of work. He allowed three earned runs while scattering nine hits.
The Indians got to Hellickson in the bottom of the fourth to plate their only runs of the game. With two outs, Reynolds singled to left and advanced to second on an infield single by Carlos Santana
. Gomes followed with a RBI-double off the base of the wall in center to make it 4-1. Mike Aviles
drove home Santana and Gomes with a line-drive single to center to make it 4-3.
Cleveland failed to hit with runners on base, stranding six runners despite picking up 11 hits. No Indian advanced past second base for the final five innings. Kyle Farnsworth
, Joel Peralta
, Jake McGee
, and Fernando Rodney
combined to allow just two hits over the final four frames.
The Indians will travel to New York to start a three-game series with the Yankees. The first game will be played on Monday at 7 p.m. on ESPN, as Justin Masterson
(8-3, 3.07) faces off against veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte
Notes: Drew Stubbs
is mired in a 0-for-16 slump … Indians manager Terry Francona
was ejected with the Indians trailing 5-3 after home plate umpire Bill Welke called a strike to Swisher on a pitch that appeared lo
w and outside. … Andy Pettitte
will be returning from the 15-day disabled list to start against the Indians Monday.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.