After 4 hours 49 minutes combined in 3 rain delays (9th longest rain delay total in MLB history) the Indians lost the series opener to the Tampa Bay Rays by a final score of 9-2. The final pitch was thrown at 2:54 a.m. The loss goes to Scott Barnes (0-1, 7.27 ERA) and the Indians record drops to 29-25. The win goes to former Indians reliever Jamey Wright (1-1, 3.12 ERA) and Cesar Ramos picked up his 1st career save to improve the Rays record to 30-24.
After the 3rd rain delay which lasted 2 hours and 39 minutes both Matt Moore and Corey Kluber were removed from the game. Scott Barnes took over for Corey Kluber and was roughed up for 5 runs in the top of the 3rd inning allowing a pair of 2-run home runs to left handed hitters Matt Joyce and James Loney and a RBI double off the bat of Evan Longoria.
Nick Swisher drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 5th inning and Mark Reynolds followed with a hard smash off the glove of Evan Longoria which advanced Swisher to 2nd. After Carlos Santana flew out Rays pitcher Josh Lueke uncorked a wild pitch to advance Swisher to 3rd and Reynolds to 2nd. The Tribe took advantage of the wild pitch to score their first run on a Yan Gomes sacrifice fly and then Ryan Raburn drove in Reynolds with a 2-out double to cut the Rays lead to 5-2.
The Indians were on the wrong end of a controversial call in the bottom of the 6th. After reaching on a leadoff walk Michael Bourn attempted to steal second on a 3-2 pitch that Mike Aviles swung through. The throw to 2nd would have nailed Bourn by a long way so he stopped and got into a run down. Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar dove to tag him on the leg but appeared to have whiffed but Bourn was called out. After the umpires huddled to discuss the ruling was upheld.
The Rays put the game out of reach in the top of the 9th pushing across 4 runs on Rich Hill. 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 to score Lobaton and moved Escobar to third. After Hill struck out pinch hitter Sean Rodriguez pinch hitter Sam Fuld dropped a soft single to center to score Escobar.
The umpire blew the call with Michael Bourn in the rundown but to huddle up and still not get the call correct makes one wonder how much longer the human element will be tolerated before expanded replay becomes a reality.
The Tribe only could muster 1 hit against the much maligned Rays bullpen.
Rich Hill continues to spiral downward working 1-inning and allowing 3R/ER on 5 hits in his 1 inning of work.