Records: Cleveland 17-20, Tampa Bay 16-21
Going into the series, the pitching matchups appeared very favorable. Not only did the Rays have three starters on the Disabled List, but the Indians would also miss David Price, who had pitched on Thursday night. But tonight the result did not match expectations, for the Indians would only manage one hit in a game started by Erik Bedard.
Bedard this spring exercised the out in his minor-league contract in March, but when the Rays were beset by injuries to their starting rotation, he was brought back, and was placed in the starting rotation, something that Tampa Bay never thought they'd have to do. Once a pitcher with dominating stuff, Bedard, thanks to numerous arm injuries, is now a finesse pitcher, and of late has seemed to embrace this style. In his previous two outings, he held the Yankees and Red Sox to one run, and tonight he did even better, blanking the Indians over six innings. He walked three batters, including two in a row to start the fourth, but the Tribe offense couldn't do anything with that. The only hit off Bedard was a Ryan Raburn double in the second, and that too wasn't taken advantage of.
Meanwhile the Rays hit Zach McAllister like he was the guy with mediocre stuff. Zach allowed eight hits, including two doubles, and uncharacteristically only struck out two batters in just 4.1 innings of work. McAllister allowed a run in the third, two runs in the fourth, and two more in the fifth before being pulled. Terry Francona used the front end of the bullpen to finish the game, including using LOOGY Josh Outman for an extended outing, which went was well as expected (two runs in 0.1 innings, facing five batters).
The only excitement on the Tribe's end came in the ninth inning, when it looked like Tampa closer Grant Balfour was about implode, loading the bases with nobody out. Balfour, who hadn't pitched in quite a while, was sent out in a 7-0 game to get some work in, and almost worked himself into an actual save situation. But the Indians didn't take advantage of the situation, only scoring one run (on a Ryan Raburn sacrifice fly) before Asdrubal Cabrera ended the game by grounding into a double play. Tonight the pitching wasn't up to par, but the offense certainly didn't help, either.
In the rather macabre Carlos Santana Watch: the Tribe's cleanup hitter has now gone 1 for his last 30 since homering on May 2.
The Very Boring Win Expectancy Chart