Roberto Perez’s infield single plated the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning as the host Cleveland Indians snapped a season-high four-game losing skid with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
Jordan Luplow belted a solo homer, and Shane Bieber struck out 10 in a no-decision for the Indians, who evened their four-game series with Tampa Bay at one victory apiece.
Avisail Garcia had an RBI single in the first inning, and Tommy Pham doubled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games for the Rays, who have dropped three of their past five games.
With the score tied at 1, Francisco Lindor singled up the middle off Jose Alvarado (0-4) to lead off the eighth inning and advanced to second on Jason Kipnis’ sacrifice bunt.
Carlos Santana and Luplow each walked to load the bases before Tampa Bay third baseman Daniel Robertson was unable to cleanly field Perez’s dribbler up the third base line, allowing Lindor to score.
Alvarado then issued his third walk after bouncing a 3-2 pitch to former Ray Jake Bauers to give Cleveland a 3-1 lead.
A.J. Cole (2-1) picked up the win after getting four outs, including striking out the side in the eighth inning. Brad Hand worked around a leadoff single by Travis d’Arnaud to retire the side in the ninth inning for his 13th save.
Bieber followed his career-best 15-strikeout performance by allowing one run on four hits and four walks in five innings. He exited after 111 pitches.
Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell also received a no-decision despite permitting just one run on four hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in 6 2/3 innings.
The Rays got out of the blocks as Garcia’s single to right field scored Austin Meadows for a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning. Tampa Bay also started fast in the series opener, plating a pair of runs in the first inning Thursday during a 7-2 win.
Luplow answered in the fourth inning by depositing an 0-1 fastball from Snell over the wall in right field. The homer was Luplow’s sixth of the season, with all six coming against left-handers.
—Field Level Media