Player of the Game
C.C. Lee hadn’t pitched in eight days, but he was excellent tonight in relief for Zach McAllister. He came in with a runner on first and struck out his first batter faced. He retired Matt Joyce to end the inning then came out to pitch the sixth as well. Things looked shakey at first as he hit the first batter and threw three more balls to the next, but Yan Gomes caught Desmond Jennings stealing and Lee came back to strike out the next two batters to end the inning.
The Indians only hit safely once during the first eight innings, but Lonnie Chisenhall, who came in as a defensive replacement the inning before, lead the inning off with a hit. Michael Brantley followed with the Tribe’s third hit of the night, extending his hitting streak to ten games. Carlos Santana then walked to give the Indians bases loaded with nobody out. Ryan Raburn did hit a sacrifice fly to score the first Indians run, but it wasn’t enough as Asdrubal Cabrera grounded into a double play to end the game.
After his latest disaster, where he almost blew a four run lead in the ninth, John Axford has been replaced as the Indians closer. He will be replaced by a committee consisting of Cody Allen, Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw and possibly Scott Atchison if Terry Francona wants to live dangerously. Axford could return to the role if he settles down in his reduced leverage situations, but Allen is likely the closer of the near future and Axford did his job in providing another option early in the year.
The Indians had their chances to score early on, but were unable to put anything on the board until the ninth. The best chance came in the fourth, when Nick Swisher and Michael Brantley walked to lead off the inning. Eric Bedard made easy work of the rest of the Indians, however, as Carlos Santana struck out, Ryan Raburn popped out to short and Asdrubal Cabrera flew out to center.
Showing the unpredictability of baseball, Zach McAllister struggled today after being the most consistent Indians starter all year. McAllister starter alright, but some poor outfield defense lead to a slide that ultimately lead to an early departure for Zach. He gave up runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings on eight hits including two doubles. He was removed after just one out in the fifth when he gave up his fifth run on a James Loney single.
Josh Outman, who, like Lee, was pitching on eight days rest, was not quite as successful as Lee. Outman gave up a double to the switch hitting Ben Zobrist, intentionally walked the right handed Evan Longoria, then gave up an RBI single to the left handed James Loney, driving the score to 6-0. Outman retired just one batter before being relieved by Carlos Carrasco, who walked the next batter and gave up another Outman run on a Joyce sacrifice fly.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 7 – Tampa Bay Rays 1
On Deck: Josh Tomlin will make his second start of the season, facing off against Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays in the rubber match at 1:40 PM, Sunday.