The Cleveland Indians took advantage of mistakes both on offense and defense by the Tampa Bay Rays, breaking a 1-1 tie in the eighth and holding on for a 3-1 decision Friday at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay for the second straight night jumped out to an early lead on the Indians, as Austin meadows doubled to start the inning, moved to third on a flyout by Tommy Pham, and after a walk to Ji-Man Choi, Avisail Garcia singled in Meadows for a 1-0 lead.
But Tampa Bay could not extend their lead in the inning, and would not be able to add on the rest of the contest. The Rays stranded ten men on base Friday, including six in scoring position, and ended up going 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position, finishing 0 for their last 11 after the Garcia single.
Blake Snell put up zeroes in the first three innings, but left a 96 MPH fastball up in the zone to Jordan Luplow in the fourth, and the right fielder sent it into the seats in right-center for his sixth home run of the season, tying the game.
Snell nearly made it through the seventh, but left with two out and a pair of runners on, though Jose Alvarado got out of the inning by getting Leonys Martin to pop out.
But Alvarado (0-4) could not get through the eighth unscathed, as he allowed a base hit to Francisco Lindor to start the inning, and after Jason Kipnis sacrificed him to second base, walked Carlos Santana and Luplow to load the bases. Jose Ramirez struck out for the second out of the inning, but Roberto Perez broke the tie with a chopper to third that Daniel Robertson could not barehand for an infield single, and Jake Bauers then drew a bases loaded walk to force in Santana to make it 3-1.
Travis d'Arnaud singled off Brad Hand to start the ninth, but was stranded at first base as Robertson flew out, and Meadows and Pham each struck out to end the game.
The loss drops Tampa Bay back to ten games over .500 and 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the lead in the American League East.
Tampa Bay Rays (29-19) at Cleveland Indians (26-24), 4:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 3:00 with The Inside Pitch
Rays starter: RHP Charlie Morton (4-0, 2.65 ERA)
Indians starter: RHP Carlos Carrasco (4-4, 4.30 ERA)