St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – Jason Bartlett drove in the game-winner in the 10th inning as the Tampa Bay Rays took a 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians in the finale of a four-game set.
With men on first and second and Kerry Wood (1-4) on the mound, Bartlett roped a pitch into the gap in right-center and it dropped, allowing Carl Crawford to cross the plate for the win.
Tampa closed out the first half of the season with a mark of 54-34 and the team currently sits in second place in the AL East, 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees.
Crawford went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run and three runs scored while B.J. Upton and Reid Brignac each drove in a run for the Rays, who have won eight of nine.
Jeff Niemann went five innings in the start and gave up three runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Andy Sonnanstine (2-0) got the win for throwing a perfect 10th inning.
Austin Kearns drove in a pair of runs while Trevor Crowe added two hits and an RBI for the Indians, who have lost five of their last six. Justin Masterson lasted five innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Cleveland sits at the bottom of the AL Central with a mark of 34-54.
The Indians jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. With one out, Jayson Nix was hit by a pitch and Carlos Santana followed with a double. Kearns chased them both home with a single and Matt LaPorta followed with an RBI double.
The Rays got a run back in the first. With runners at the corners, Carlos Pena hit a grounder back to the mound and Masterson caught Crawford off of third. In the rundown with Crawford heading to home, Andy Marte short-hopped the ball to Chris Gimenez and Crawford was able to get around the catcher to score. Matt Joyce walked to load the bases, but John Jaso hit into a double play to end the inning.
Tampa got another run back in the fourth when Upton hit a two-out double and came home when Brignac followed with a single.
The Rays then surged ahead in the fifth. Ben Zobrist led off with a walk and Crawford followed by drilling a 1-1 pitch into the seats in right. Later with the bases loaded, Upton lofted a sac fly to right that scored Evan Longoria for a 5-3 lead.
Cleveland, though, tied the game in the sixth. With two on and no out, Crowe singled home a run and a bunt single from Gimenez loaded the bases. Anderson Hernandez then hit into a double play that tied the game.
Tampa has taken five of six from Cleveland this season…Tampa left 15 men on base in the game…After the break, Cleveland hosts Detroit for four games starting on Friday…Tampa begins a three-game set in New York against the Yankees starting on Friday.