Defensive miscue allows Indians to top RaysMay 29, 2011 - 3:43 AM
Michael Brantley had a pair of hits and scored twice for Cleveland, which snapped a three-game slide. Matt LaPorta belted his sixth homer of the year.
Carlos Carrasco (4-2) allowed seven hits and a pair of runs over six innings to win his third consecutive start.
James Shields (5-3) struck out eight batters over seven innings, but lost six days after tying the franchise-record for strikeouts in a game with 13 against Florida. The right-hander fell to 1-5 in his career against the Indians.
Evan Longoria homered for the Rays, losers in six of their last eight games.
Cleveland held a 3-2 lead going to the eighth when Brantley singled off J.P. Howell to begin the inning. Zobrist then couldn't stop Asdrubal Cabrera's grounder as the ball got by him into right field.
That opened the door for a big inning, and Howell made matters worse by hitting Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch on his right side.
Duncan followed by nearly hitting a grand slam. The ball inched over the glove of left fielder Sam Fuld and bounced high off the wall. Choo was slow to react and barely made it to second base.
Kyle Farnsworth then entered from the bullpen and retired the ensuing two batters, but Orlando Cabrera squirted a single just past a diving Zobrist into center field.
A base-running blunder ended the game for the Rays. They loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth when Johnny Damon hit a grounder to first baseman LaPorta. Newly-inserted reliever Chris Perez didn't cover first in time, and Casey Kotchman scored. Longoria went from first to third. That's when the Indians noticed Sean Rodriguez caught between third and home, and he was tagged out to end the game. Perez picked up his 14th save.
"Longo was just reacting to the crowd. He thought because of the reaction that the ball got down the first-base line," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That's why he continued on. Obviously, as a base runner you're always supposed to keep your head up and see the runner in front of you. He failed to do that."
The Indians broke on top in the opening inning courtesy of Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI triple and a Santana sacrifice fly. It became 3-0 in the second on LaPorta's homer to right.
"He left a couple of pitches up and we took advantage of it," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "It's always huge because once he gets in a rhythm with those pitches he has it would have been tough, as it proved to be after that first inning."
Longoria homered to center in the third and Rodriguez's bunt single scored Matt Joyce in the fourth.
The Rays had a chance to tie in the seventh when Fuld walked and eventually reached second, but Damon was called out on a check swing after trying to get out of the way on a high and tight pitch from Tony Sipp.
The Rays lost for just the second time in their last 11 home games against the Indians...Duncan is now 4-for-5 this year pinch hitting with seven RBI...Joyce went 1-for-4. He's hitting .429 (33-for-77) in the month of May. If this holds, it would be the highest monthly average by any player in club history. The previous best batting average for any month (minimum 50 at-bats) by a Tampa Bay player is Fred McGriff at .422 in July 1999...The finale of three- game series will have Justin Masterson (5-2) pitching for the Indians and Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) for the Rays.
- CLEVELAND: 7
TAMPA BAY: 3
May 28 7:23 PM
- Orlando Cabrera singled to center scored Shin-Soo Choo and Shelley Duncan. Runner on first with two outs and Matt LaPorta due up.
Indians 7, Rays 2 Top 8, 2 OutsMay 28 6:39 PM
- Shelley Duncan singled to center scored Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera. On the play, Shin-Soo Choo advances to second. Runners on first and second with none out and Carlos Santana due up.
Indians 5, Rays 2 Top 8, 0 OutsMay 28 6:34 PM
- Sean Rodriguez bunt single to pitcher scored Matt Joyce. On the play, Casey Kotchman advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Sam Fuld due up.
Indians 3, Rays 2 Bot 4, 1 OutMay 28 5:22 PM
- Evan Longoria two-out, solo Home Run (3) to center. Johnny Damon due up.
Indians 3, Rays 1 Bot 3, 2 OutsMay 28 4:59 PM
- Matt LaPorta two-out, solo Home Run (6) to right. Jack Hannahan due up.
Indians 3, Rays 0 Top 2, 2 OutsMay 28 4:32 PM
- Carlos Santana sacrifice fly out to first scored Shin-Soo Choo. On the play, Travis Buck was doubled off at first, right to first to end the inning.
Indians 2, Rays 0 Mid 1May 28 4:20 PM
- Asdrubal Cabrera tripled to center scored Michael Brantley. Runner on third with none out and Shin-Soo Choo due up.
Indians 1, Rays 0 Top 1, 0 OutsMay 28 4:13 PM
- CLEVELAND: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
May 28 4:12 PM
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