(Sports Network) - After snapping their 18-game slide at Progressive Field, the Tampa Bay Rays will try for a series win this afternoon in the finale of their three-game series against the Cleveland Indians.
Ben Zobrist's replay-reviewed three-run homer began a stretch of six unanswered runs, as Tampa Bay defeated Cleveland, 6-3, on Saturday.
Shelley Duncan hit a two-run homer for the Indians, who are 7-2 after the All- Star break. Mitch Talbot (8-9), pitching against the team that traded him last offseason, gave up five runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Despite the loss, Talbot managed to tie a team record by striking out six consecutive batters from the first through the third innings. He struck out a career-high eight overall.
This afternoon the Rays will give the ball to Wade Davis, who is looking for his third consecutive victory. The last time the right-hander was on the hill he led the Rays to an 8-1 victory over Baltimore.
In the victory, Davis tossed eight innings, allowing just one run on seven hits. The young hurler surrendered just one walk and struck out three batters. It was the third road win on the year for Davis, who has a lackluster 4.88 earned run average in eight starts outside of Tropicana Field.
Earlier this season the Florida native made his first-ever start against Cleveland and in that outing he grabbed a victory after holding the Tribe to just two runs in seven innings. Davis did allow four hits and four walks, but did strike out four batters as well.
As for the Indians, they will turn to Justin Masterson, who is winless in his last three starts. The young hurler is currently stuck in a major slump, having won just once over his past seven outings.
The last time the hard-throwing right-hander was on the bump, he allowed three runs against Minnesota. In the 6 1/3 innings of work Masterson allowed seven hits, but also collected seven strike outs. Despite the mediocre performance Masterson did not factor in the 4-3 victory.
Earlier this season Masterson surrendered five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits and three walks against Tampa Bay. That outing is similar to Masterson's efforts against Tampa in his career, as the young hurler is just 1-3 with a 6.49 earned run average against the Rays.