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Rays Can’t Finish Off Sweep, Falling To Tribe

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The Tampa Bay Rays bullpen could not hold a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, and the Cleveland Indians were able to salvage the finale of the four-game series against Tampa Bay, snapping the 11-game winning streak the Rays had over the Indians with a 3-2 decision Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.

Tampa Bay got out to an early lead against Indians starter Triston McKenzie, as Randy Arozarena led off the game with an infield single and Ji-Man Choi followed with a walk.  Nelson Cruz‘s fly ball to deep center allowed both runners to move up a base, and Austin Meadows followed with a groundout that allowed Arozarena to make it a 1-0 game.

Cleveland quickly tied the game, as Cesar Hernandez led off the bottom of the first with a solo shot off Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough to even the game at one apiece.

Yarbrough would not allow another run while getting through seven complete frames.

The Rays would take the lead back in the sixth, when Cruz got a McKenzie fastball up in the zone and lined it over the wall in center field for his 21st home run of the year.

Yarbrough would be replaced to begin the eighth by Matt Wisler, who gave up a leadoff hit to Hernandez, then hit Amed Rosario with a 1-2 fastball.  Harold Ramirez singled in Hernandez to tie the game, and Bobby Bradley‘s sacrifice fly gave Cleveland the lead for good.

James Karinchak (7-2) earned the win with a scoreless eighth, and Emmanuel Clase worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save.

The loss drops Tampa Bay back a game behind the Boston Red Sox for the lead in the American League East.

The Rays will have Monday off before welcoming the New York Yankees to Tropicana Field for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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