Sunday just wasn’t the Indians’ day. After bouncing back to beat the Rays 5-0 on Saturday, Tampa had their way with the Tribe on yesterday afternoon. When it was all said and done, the Rays beat down the Indians by a final score of 11-3 and took the series 2-1. To make matters worse, Terry Francona wouldn’t stick around to see the horror unfold.
The biggest issue that effected the Indians in Sunday’s series finale was that the usually reliable Zach McAllister was not reliable. Location is typically everything and on Sunday McAllister couldn’t locate anything. He struggled through 4.1 innings of work allowing 5 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks. It was his first legitimately poor outing in quite some time as the Rays had their way with him from the get go. Expect McAllister to bounce back in his next outing.
The Rays jumped all over McAllister early. In the top of the first, James Loney delivered with a two run double just out of the reach of Michael Bourn‘s glove to put the Rays up 2-0. In the top of the third, super-star Evan Longoria smacked an RBI single to right to score Matt Joyce and make it 3-0. Then in the top of the fourth, Sam Fuld scored on an infield single by Jose Lobaton to make it 4-0.
In the bottom of fourth the Indians cut the deficit to 4-3. Yan Gomes doubled to center to score Mark Reynolds and then Mike Aviles singled and scored Carlos Santana and Gomes. Unfortunately, McAllister wasn’t able to hold serve and the Rays struck back again in the top half of the fifth thanks to a throwing error by Gomes.
Then in the bottom of the fifth, things spiraled out of control. After watching McAllister get squeezed with the strike zone, Terry Francona went off following a very generous strike call against Nick Swisher. He stormed the field and got his money’s worth before being ejected. The crowd loved it. Unfortunately, the Indians just didn’t respond.
Tampa came roaring back by scoring six more runs over the course of the final four innings, the bulk of which came via the long ball. Yunel Escobar crushed a two run homer to center in the sixth and Evan Longoria added a two run homer to right. When the dust settled, it was 11-3 and the Rays were walking out of Cleveland with the series victory.
The Good: It’s hard to really find anything good from yesterday’s debacle. Chalk it up to a long weekend with a really wacky schedule against a solid team. Had this series not been sabotaged from what happened on Friday, maybe it ends up differently.
The Bad: Zach McAllister just didn’t have his best command on Sunday. It’s not something to be worried about as every pitcher is entitled to a poor outing every now and then, but it was still an ugly start. Definitely one of his worst of the season.
The “Huh?”: When was the last time we saw our manager get thrown out for arguing a call? This is something we hardly ever saw from Manny Acta and I have to say, I kinda liked it. It’s a refreshing change.