Cleveland Indians shot down sputtering Tampa Bay Rays

By Greg Auman, The Sports Xchange  |  Aug. 12, 2017 at 10:11 PM
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jay Bruce drove in his first two runs since joining the Cleveland Indians, helping his new team to a 3-0 win over the slumping Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Bruce had an RBI bloop double in the first inning and an RBI single in the sixth, accounting for the only RBIs for the Indians (62-52).

Tampa Bay (59-59) dropped to .500 for the first time since June 16, and the Rays were shut out for the second straight night and the fifth time in eight games. They've scored just eight runs in those eight games, the lowest-scoring eight-game stretch in the franchise's 20-year history.

Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger (6-4) held the Rays to four hits in seven innings, striking out nine batters while walking only one. His gem came a night after Carlos Carrasco took a no-hitter into the seventh inning as part of a shutout win.

Bruce had been 2-for-5 before the game since being acquired from the Mets this week, but Saturday marked his first RBIs since the trade.

Cody Allen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save of the season.

Rays pitcher Chris Archer (8-7) struck out eight batters but continues to build up a pitch count quickly, lasting only 5 1/3 innings before leaving with 111 pitches. He has just one win in six starts since he was selected to the All-Star Game, and the Rays are 2-4 in those starts.

The eight runs in eight games marks the worst eight-game stretch in team history, trumping nine runs scored in an eight-game stretch during its first season in July 1998.

The Rays, shut out four times in the last seven games during a rough homestand, again failed to score a run in the first five innings, with Clevinger in control.

Cleveland jumped ahead in the first inning. Archer issued a two-out walk to Jose Ramirez and gave up an infield single to Edwin Encarnacion. Bruce's bloop to left field dropped between third baseman Trevor Plouffe and left fielder Corey Dickerson, allowing a run to score on what ended up an RBI double.

The Indians added a run in the third. Francisco Lindor ripped a double down the right-field line, advanced to third on a groundout and scored with two outs on a wild pitch by Archer, just beating the tag after the return throw to the plate.

Clevinger pitched well -- he induced a double play after a leadoff single in the first, then struck out the side after a leadoff single in the second. He had retired nine straight when Brad Miller doubled to lead off the fifth but then was thrown out by catcher Roberto Perez with one out trying to steal third.

The Indians added a run in the sixth inning when Ramirez doubled and scored on an RBI single by Bruce to make it 3-0.

The Rays played without third baseman Evan Longoria, who left Friday's game with a left thumb contusion. X-rays were negative, but he was not in the starting lineup.

NOTES: Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier, out two months with a hip injury, was scheduled to be designated hitter in a rehab game Saturday and again Sunday for Class A Charlotte, his first rehab appearance since July 28. ... Rays RHP Matt Andriese, also recovering from a hip injury, starts Sunday for Charlotte, his first rehab appearance since he was injured June 10. ... Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco took a no-hitter into the seventh against the Rays on Friday night.

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