Having won two of their first three against the Rays this week, the Indians were looking to improve on their season series record (14-13-2)—including a 13-16 (6-7 on the road) mark in series finales—in their final match against Tampa Bay Thursday afternoon. Standing in their way was David Price, who in five career starts against Cleveland owns a 4-0 record with a 2.01 ERA and has been even tougher against them at Tropicana Field, where he is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (13 scoreless innings) allowing only eight hits while striking out 17.
The Indians were once again shut down by David Price on Thursday as the Rays ace allowed only two singles in seven scoreless innings while striking out seven and walking three in picking up his American League-leading 13th win of the year against just 4 losses. The victory improved the Rays’ record to 48-45. Ubaldo Jimenez (8-9, 5.24) took the loss for the Indians, who drop to 47-45 on the year. He he allowed five runs (all earned) in 5.2 innings of work while striking out five and walking five.
The only blemish against Jimenez through the first five innings was a solo homer off the bat of Luke Scott which gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. But the Rays broke the game open in the sixth inning, scoring four runs after the first two Rays were retired. With two outs in the inning Jimenez hit Desmond Jennings with a pitch, gave up a single to Jose Molina, and walked Sean Rodrgiuez which brought the suddenly hot B.J. Upton to the plate. Upton connected on an 85 mph slider which tailed back over the plate and lined it into the left field corner for a bases clearing double to give the Rays a 4-0 lead.
Scott Barnes came in to face Carlos Pena who singled in Upton to give the Rays a 5-0 lead. The Rays scored their final run against Barnes in the 7th inning off back to back doubles to Luke Scott and Jeff Keppinger.
The Good: Carlos Santana continues to show good patience at the plate, drawing two walks in his three plate appearances against David Price.
The Huh: Carlos Santana and Jose Lopez led off the top of the sixth with back-to-back singles. After Shelley Duncan struck out the Indians attempted a double steal and Carlos Santana was thrown out at third. Manny Acta defended the move, saying:
“The guys that came up after that were overpowered by him anyway, You have to try to do some stuff against him. If you just let him match up one-on-one against some of our guys, especially the bottom of the order, it isn’t going to work.” – mlb.com