Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Fausto Carmona allowed just one unearned run in five strong innings, as the Indians extended their home dominance of the Tampa Bay Rays with a 3-1 win in a rain-shortened, seven-inning affair at Progressive Field.
Carmona (10-7) won for the third straight start by allowing just one hit and one walk while fanning seven for the Indians, who have won seven of eight to begin the second half and have an amazing 18-game home win streak against Tampa Bay.
The streak is the longest active stretch by one team over another at a particular stadium, and the Rays haven’t won here since September 28, 2005.
“He pitched ahead and had good life on his pitches,” Indians manager Manny Acta said of Carmona. “He was overpowering.”
Trevor Crowe had two hits, including a solo homer, while Asdrubal Cabrera recorded three hits in the victory. Tony Sipp notched his first career save for pitching a hitless sixth and seventh.
Jeff Niemann (8-3) yielded two runs on five hits and three walks in five innings to receive the loss for the Rays, who are 3-4 on their nine-game road trip. John Jaso drove in the lone run in defeat.
The Indians grabbed the lead with a run in the first.
Michael Brantley walked on five pitches leading off, and Cabrera followed with a single. After Brantley moved to third on a fly ball, he scored on Carlos Santana’s fielder’s choice groundout to first.
The Rays used two errors to tie the game in the second. Carlos Pena grounded a ball to Jason Donald, who was playing in shallow right field for the shift. Donald’s throw was wide of first, allowing Pena to reach base, and he attempted to steal second with Matt Joyce at the plate.
Santana’s throw to second was off the mark, sailing into center field. Pena scampered to third just ahead of Brantley’s throw and scored on Jaso’s groundout.
Cleveland, though, went back ahead in the third. Brantley began the inning with a single and moved to third on Cabrera’s double. Shin-Soo Choo’s ground ball to second easily scored Brantley for a 2-1 lead.
After the first set of rains came, Crowe blasted a two-out homer just over the wall in right for a 3-1 Indians advantage.
Cabrera reached to begin the home seventh on a bunt single, but the rains came steadily after that, leading to the game being called after another lengthy delay.
“Both [starters] pitched well,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We just have to do better than one hit. We had a chance to come back, but the weather wouldn’t cooperate with us.”
The delay time totaled 2:44, while the game itself lasted 2:06…Choo (thumb) was activated from the disabled list on Friday and went 1-for-3. He last played on July 2…Rays outfielder Carl Crawford returned to the lineup after sitting out Wednesday with a groin injury. He went 0-for-3…The Indians’ streak of 45 straight games with an extra-base hit is the longest active stretch in the majors…Tampa Bay still leads the season series, 5-2…Carmona has allowed three or fewer runs in nine of his last 10 outings.