Indians Shut Out Twice In Tampa Bay; Rays Win Series Finale 7-0

Indians face two tough Tampa Bay hurlers this weekend

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Indians Vs. Rays Final: Rays Solve Masterson Again; Indians Go Quietly, 7-0

It is quite odd and quite distressing that the Indians only seem to be able to put up a decent offensive outing anymore with Carlos Carrasco on the mound.

The Tribe has put 26 runs on the board for Carrasco in his last three starts, but when any of the other four starters go out there, it seems as if the offense goes to sleep.

It did on Friday, when the Indians were shut out on four hits. It did again on Sunday afternoon, when Jeremy Hellickson and two relievers held Cleveland to five hits in another shutout. This time the Indians went down 7-0.

Justin Masterson had his worst perfomance of the season by the numbers today, giving up seven runs — six earned — in just five innings. Masterson (5-3, 3.07 ERA) has now had his two poorest outings of the year against the Rays.

Masterson allowed eight hits, five walks, and did not strike out anyone.

If there is a bright spot to be gleaned from Sunday’s game, it was that Frank Herrmann pitched three scoreless innings mopping up, allowing two hits and a walk and fanning two in dropping his ERA to 8.49.

Oh, and another bright spot: Boston defeated the Tigers in the first game of a day/night doubleheader, so the Tribe’s lead will either be six games or seven, depending upon the result of the second game between the Red Sox and Detroit.

The winner today for Tampa Bay was Jeremy Hellickson, who went seven innings and allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out six. Hellickson (6-3, 2.80 ERA) was given a lead in the third inning, and that would have been enough on this day for Hellickson and for Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos. Russell and Ramos each pitched a scoreless frame, although Ramos did give up two hits in the ninth.

The tone for today’s offensive futility was set in the very first inning, when, with one out and two aboard, cleanup hitter Travis Buck grounded into a double play.

In the Rays’ third, Johnny Damon singled in the first run of the game, and when Evan Longoria scored on a passed ball, it was 2-0 Tampa Bay.

The Tribe put two aboard with two outs in the fourth, but Grady Sizemore struck out to end that threat, and in the bottom of the fourth, Tampa Bay doubled their lead when John Jaso hit his third homer of the year.

The Rays put the game away, for all intents and purposes, in the fifth. Ben Zobrist plated Longoria on a ground out to make it 5-0. Later in the inning, Sam Fuld singled to score Damon, and the final run of the game scored on a fielding error by Asdrubal Cabrera.

The Indians now go to Toronto for three games with the Blue Jays beginning on Monday night. And they had better be ready, as Toronto has a three-game winning streak, all achieved against the Chicago White Sox over the weekend.

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Justin Masterson Tries To Send Tribe To Toronto With Momentum

After a big win yesterday over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Indians will try to leave Florida with a series win when they take on the Rays on Sunday afternoon at 1:40.

Justin Masterson will be trying for the sixth time to win his sixth game of the season. Masterson (5-2, 2.50 ERA) has not won since April 26 against the Kansas City Royals, but the fault has been the offense’s more than anything else. In five starts since that win over the Royals, Masterson has gone 35.1 innings and has surrendered only 11 earned runs. Unfortunately, the Tribe has mustered only 13 runs in those five games, albeit having won two of them, in which Masterson received no decision.

Masterson had his worst outing of the season against Tampa Bay on May 12 in a 7-4 Rays win. In that game Masterson also had his shortest outing of the season, going 5.2 innings, and allowing eight hits and five runs, along with four walks and six Ks.

That game against the Rays continued a career-long string of difficulty against Tampa Bay. In ten appearances against Tampa Bay, including six starts, Masterson is 1-5 with a high 6.28 ERA in 38.2 frames.

The Rays will send Jeremy Hellickson against Cleveland today. It will be the first appearance for Hellickson against the Indians in this, his second season in the Major Leagues.

Hellickson (5-3, 3.14 ERA) is a sparkling 9-3 in his career, covering 13 starts and 19 total appearances.

In his last start, Hellickson lost to the Detroit Tigers, but permitted only two runs and four hits in 6.1 innings.That loss broke a personal four-game winning streak which had included a shutout against the Baltimore Orioles and five scoreless frames tossed in a win over the Minnesota Twins.

Hellickson will be making only his fourth appearance of the season at home, where he is 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA.

Hellickson allows roughly four walks per nine innings, so patience at the plate would be something the Tribe might aspire to this afternoon.

The Indians will head for Toronto after this game and will open a three-game series with the Blue Jays on Monday evening.

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Indians Vs. Rays Final: Indians Score Early And Late, Beat Shields And Rays 7-3

The Indians’ offense broke out this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays, and Carlos Carrasco won his third straight start as the Tribe snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-3 win in Florida.

Carrasco (4-2, 4.91 ERA) went six innings and then handed the game over to Vinnie Pestano, Tony Sipp and Rafael and Chris Perez, who cumulatively held the Rays to a single unearned run in the final three innings.

Chris Perez faced one hitter, who reached on a bobbled-ball error by Matt LaPorta, but a base-running gaffe at third base by the Rays enabled the Indians to finish the game off. Two Tampa Bay runners found themselves at third after the Rays scored to get to within 7-3, and Carlos Santana eventually recorded the third out in a rundown with Sean Rodriguez between third and the plate after the Indians were ready to give up on the play. But Perez saw what was going on at third, ran across, and after one missed tag on Rodriguez by Orlando Cabrera, Santana applied the game-ending tag.

The losing pitcher was James Shields, who dropped to 5-2 and whose ERA rose from 2.00 to 2.15. Shields allowed two runs in a wild first and surrendered a solo shot to LaPorta (Matt's sixth homer) in the second before settling in. Shields ended up going seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

In the first, Michael Brantley led off with a hit and scored on an Asdrubal Cabrera triple. Cabrera was then picked off at third for the first out. Shin-Soo Choo and Travis Buck then singled to put runners at the corners, but Carlos Santana hit a fly ball to right, and Buck was doubled off, but not before Choo scored to make it 2-0.

After LaPorta’s homer put the Indians up 3-0, the Rays crept closer when Evan Longoria went deep in the third. The Rays made it 3-2 in the fourth when Rodriguez laid down a bunt for a base-hit, scoring Matt Joyce and leaving two on with only one out.

Carrasco stiffened and retired the next two in the fourth and that was all the Rays could muster until their bizarre run in the ninth.

The Tribe put the game away with four runs in the eighth. Cleveland loaded the bases with nobody out, thanks to an error and a hit-batsman, then Shelley Duncan delivered a two-run pinch-hit single to deep center. With two outs Orlando Cabrera came through with a two-run single, and the Indians had scored more than enough to carry the day.

Carrasco, who has enjoyed 26 runs of support in his three-game winning streak, allowed seven hits and struck out four while not walking anyone.

A much-needed start for Carrasco and a much-needed win for the Indians, who will wrap up this series tomorrow afternoon when the Rays’ Jeremy Hellickson (5-3, 3,14 ERA) takes on Cleveland’s Justin Masterson (5-2, 2.50 ERA) in a game which will start at 1:40.

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Carlos Carrasco Tries To End Tribe's 3-Game Slide Saturday Vs. Rays

After being shut out last night by David Price and two relievers, it may not get any easier for the Indians this afternoon at 4:10 when the Tribe meets the Tampa Bay Rays in the middle game of a three-game series in Florida.

Tampa Bay will send James Shields to the hill. Shields (5-2, 2.00 ERA) already has one win to his credit against the Indians this season, having beaten Cleveland on May 12 for his first career victory over the Indians. In that game in Cleveland, Shields went seven innings and allowed two runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out seven in a 7-4 Rays’ win. Shields now has a career record of 1-4 against the Tribe, with a 3.83 ERA in 44.2 innings.

In his last outing, against the Florida Marlins last Sunday, Shields pitched a complete game shutout, winning 4-0 against Tampa Bay’s in-state rival while allowing only three hits.

Cleveland will send Carlos Carrasco to oppose Shields. Carrasco (3-2, 5.16 ERA) has won his last two starts to climb above the break-even mark for the season, and will be making his first-ever start at Tropicana Field.

In his only career appearance against the Rays, Carrasco was touched for four runs in only five innings in that 8-2 loss to Shields on May 11. Carrasco allowed three walks and six hits in that contest, and will have to probably be a whole lot better this afternoon to run his personal winning streak to three.

The series will wrap up on Sunday with a 1:40 game. Justin Masterson will be slated to start that one for the Tribe, and Masterson has been the victim of a decided lack of support as of late.

With that being said, it would be…helpful…if the Indians could break out of their recent offensive funk today and carry that over into Sunday’s game.

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Indians Vs. Rays Final: Power Display In Second Inning Is Enough For Tampa Bay And David Price As Rays Win 5-0

All teams go through slumps, and so a three-game losing streak is not the end of the world.

But a distressing pattern is beginning to emerge for the Indians: They simply have been unable to beat a really good pitcher for quite a while now, without a command performance from a Tribe starter. And folks, even if you make it to the post-season, if you cannot beat a stud pitcher, you’re not going to win more than a pennant for a divisional championship or a wild-card to display in your stadium.

But a trophy? Not if the Tribe can’t beat David Price, or pitchers like him.

Tampa Bay got two-run homers from Casey Kotchman and Sam Fuld in the second inning off of Josh Tomlin, and truly that was all that was needed for the Rays, who went on to defeat The Good Guys 5-0, for Cleveland’s third loss in a row.

David Price cruised through seven innings to beat the Indians for the second time this season. Price (6-4, 3.54 ERA) allowed only four hits and two walks, while fanning twelve. Joel Peralta and Adam Russell each tossed a scoreless inning to complete the shutout that dropped the Tribe to 30-18 on the season.

Thankfully, the team that began the Indians’ current slide — the Red Sox — have continued rolling along, taking the first two games of a four-game set in Detroit, so the Tribe still leads the Central by six games.

Tomlin manned up and made it through six innings with just the four second-inning runs surrendered. Tomlin (6-2, 2.74 ERA) allowed 10 hits, but walked none and fanned four.

Chad Durbin went an inning for Cleveland and allowed a run, while Joe Smith tossed a perfect eighth.

Shelley Duncan and Carlos Santana each doubled but was stranded for the Indians, while both Orlando and Asdrubal Cabrera singled.

Matt LaPorta had a particularly brutal night, striking out in all four plate appearances, while four other Indians struck out twice each, That included Grady Sizemore, who went 0-for-4 in his first game back from the disabled list.

All that is left is to get back out there on Saturday at 4:10 and try again.

By the way, that “try again” will be against James Shields (5-2), who is sporting a 2.00 ERA. Shields will oppose Carlos Carrasco (3-2, 5.16 ERA).

The Indians might use now as a good time to figure out how to put a dent in a quality pitcher, before the momentum of a 30-15 start has fizzled away.

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Grady Sizemore Returns Friday Night; Carlos Santana Dropped To 7th In Batting Order

Grady Sizemore will return to the Indians’ lineup and bat sixth, and Carlos Santana will be dropped to seventh in the Tribe’s batting order on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Michael Brantley will lead off, and Orlando Cabrera will move up to second in the order, Asdrubal Cabrera will bat third, and Shelley Duncan will bat clean-up against lefty David Price.

Matt LaPorta also moves up to bat fifth, followed by Sizemore, Santana, Austin Kearns and Jack Hannahan..

Shin-Soo Choo will not be in the starting lineup for Cleveland.

The information in this article comes via Paul Hoynes and Cleveland.com.

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