After 4 hours 49 minutes combined in 3 rain delays the Rays defeated the Cleveland Indians by a final score of 9-2 to take the first game of the weekend series. The final pitch of the ballgame was thrown at 2:54 a.m. The win goes to Jamey Wright (1-1, 3.12 ERA) and Cesar Ramos picks up his first career save to improve the Rays record to 30-24. For the Indians Scott Barnes (0-1, 7.27 ERA) was charged with the loss as the Indians fell to 29-25.
Thanks to the rain forcing Matt Moore out of the game after 1 inning the Rays bullpen had to work the final 8 innings. Jamey Wright worked 3 innings and allowed 2R/0ER, Josh Leuke worked 2 scoreless innings, Cesar Ramos worked the final 3 scoreless innings. All told the Rays bullpen worked 8 innings allowing 2R/0ER on 1 hit striking out 7 and walking 2. While the pitching staff held the Indians to 1 hit the Rays hitters banged out 11 hits including 2 each from Ben Zobrist, James Loney (Home Runs #6 and #7 on the year), and Yunel Escobar. Every hitter in the lineup reached base via a hit or walk.
The Rays jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the 3rd on Indians left hander Scott Barnes who took over for Corey Kluber after the 2:39 minute rain delay. With 1-out Yunel Escobar reached on an infield single and came in to score on Matt Joyce’s 10th home run on the season. It was only his 7th career home run against a left handed pitcher and first since he connected off the Leyson Septimo of the White Sox on September 29, 2012.
Kelly Johnson extended the inning by drawing a walk and came in to score the Rays 3rd run on a Evan Longoria double that nearly cleared the wall in left. James Loney drove in Longoria by lacing his 6th home run into the seats in right. For Loney it was his 2nd homer off a lefty in the past week after not hitting a homer off a lefty dating back to September 28, 2011 (Arizona, Joe Saunders).
Jamey Wright worked 3 scoreless innings before walking Nick Swisher to lead off the bottom of the 5th and was removed from the game after Mark Reynolds reached on an error charged to Evan Longoria and he gave way for Josh Leuke. After retiring Carlos Santana he uncorked a wild pitch to advance the runners to 2nd and 3rd which enabled the Indians to score their first run on a sacrifice fly by Yan Gomes. Ryan Raburn followed with a 2-out double to cut the Rays lead to 5-2.
Lueke came out to work the bottom of the 6th and issued a leadoff walk to Michael Bourn but he was erased on a strike him out throw him out double play. For once the Rays appeared to be the beneficiary of a blown call as Bourn was hung up in a run down and Yunel Escobar dove to tag him but appeared to have whiffed but Bourn was called out and the call remained even after the umpires huddled.
In the top of the 7th inning James Loney hit his 2nd homer of the game and 7th on the season to put the Rays up 6-2.
The Rays put the game out of reach in the top of the 9th pushing across 3 runs off Rich Hill extending their lead to 9-2 . Desmond Jennings led off the inning with a single. moved to 3rd on a double by Jose Lobaton and came in to score on a single by Yunel Escobar. Ben Zobrist followed with a well placed single that scored Lobaton and move Escobar to 3rd. After Sean Rodriguez struck out Sam Fuld delivered a soft single to center to score Escobar.