I hate to say that I saw this coming, but — I saw this coming. But truly, isn’t it better to get blown out, to just tip your cap to the other team and get back up and do it tomorrow than it would be to agonize over a one-run loss?
I think if we had to lose tonight, that losing the way we did was the best way to go.
Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco, who had not pitched in a big-league game since April 24, gave it a good effort tonight, but Price was just too good. He was “this guy was my pre-season Cy Young winner” good.
Carrasco was touched for a run in the second, when, with two outs, Sam Fuld doubled to score Reid Brignac to make it 1-0.
In the fourth Tampa Bay added three more runs to make it 4-0 and to make any hopes of a comeback look bleak. After B.J.Upton scored on a fielder’s choice, Fuld drove in his second run of the night with a single, scoring Casey Kotchman. Ben Zobrist drove home John Jaso with the third run of the frame with a sac fly.
Meanwhile, the Indians got their first hit — and base-runner — of the game when Carlos Santana doubled leading off the fourth, but Carlos was stranded there when Price retired Shelley Duncan, Orlando Cabrera and Matt LaPorta in order.
Carrasco lasted five innings, tossing 100 pitches on his way to allowing four runs on six hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. The loss drops Carrasco to 1-2 and his ERA climbs to 5.29.
Justin Germano relieved in the sixth and tossed a perfect frame before getting in trouble in the seventh. In that frame, Zobrist homered to right, and Upton drove in Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce with a double to make it 7-0.
The Indians wasted another leadoff double in the seventh when Asdrubal Cabrera reached, and eventually moved to third but no further when Shin-Soo Choo, Santana and Duncan all were retired by Price.
The Rays put two aboard in the eighth, but Chad Durbin came on and was able to end the inning with no runs scoring for Tampa Bay.
The Indians finally broke through in the bottom of the eighth, getting on the board on consecutive leadoff doubles from Orlando Cabrera and LaPorta to end the shutout bid for Price. With two outs Michael Brantley plated the Tribe’s second run with a single to center, leaving Cleveland down by five at 7-2.
Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out to end the frame, but at least there would be no zero on the board for the Indians at the end of this game.
Matt Joyce took Durbin deep to lead off the ninth, putting the Rays up 8-2. Later, Carlos Santana took a foul ball off his throwing hand and it did not look good for a moment, but Carlos shook it off, so let’s hope that doesn’t end up worse tomorrow.
Price (5-3, 3.12 ERA) left after eight innings, surrendering two runs on only five hits, with seven K’s and no walks. He was relieved by Rob Delaney, appearing in only his third major league game, and second this year.
Santana drew a one-out walk in the ninth, but that was all she wrote for the Tribe on this night, as Cleveland dropped to 23-12, with the Indians’ lead dropping to 4/12 games over Detroit, with Kansas City still playing in New York.
The series wraps up on Thursday at 12:05 with Tampa Bay’s James Shields opposing the Indians’ Justin Masterson, who will try again to move to 6-0.