|1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, May 25, 2019
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio Attendance: 25,882
Indians look to build on momentum vs. Rays
Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians
- Since 2017, the Indians and Rays have both averaged 3.62 runs against each other, with the Rays having the series edge, 7-6. Cleveland has shut out Tampa Bay in four of the last nine games in the series.
- Tampa Bay's relievers have thrown more innings (218.1) than its starters (201.1) this season, and has the same number of decisions (23) as the starters. The Angels are the only other team in MLB to have their relievers pitch more innings than their starters.
- After winning three of four games against the Orioles, the Indians were swept in three games against the A's. Cleveland is 5-11 against teams currently at .500 or better, and the team's strength of schedule played (.459) this season has been the second easiest in the majors (NYY - .456).
- Carlos Santana has drawn at least one walk in eight straight games -- over that time, he is slashing .400/.583/.880 with three home runs, eight RBI, 11 walks and only four strikeouts.
- The Indians enter this series with the second-best bullpen ERA in the majors at 2.98 (Astros -- 2.74). Cleveland has allowed just 23.4 percent of its inherited runners to score this season, the third-lowest percentage in baseball.
- Avisail Garcia is hitting .345 with a 1.038 OPS this month after hitting .247 with a .741 OPS in March and April. That increase in OPS (.297) is the fifth highest in the American League among qualifiers.
- Yanks race by Rockies for 5th win in row
- Alonso hits 33rd as Mets stop Giants
- Báez, bullpen lead Cubs over Padres
- Tribe host KC aiming for 7th win in row
- Soroka faces Nats, looks to move to 11-1
The Cleveland Indians have been far from imposing on offense this season, but a late surge Friday proved just enough to return the club to its winning ways.
After snapping a season-high, four-game losing skid, the Indians aim to ride the momentum of that victory into the third contest of the four-game series against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
Jordan Luplow belted a solo homer Friday to drive in his third run of the series in Cleveland's 3-1 win. The 25-year-old is batting .276 (16-for-58) with six homers, 11 RBIs and 11 runs since returning from Triple-A Columbus on April 28.
"It gives a chance for these guys to build some trust in me, believe in me and pass the baton when we get rolling," Luplow said.
Rolling might be the operative word, as the Indians scored the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning on Roberto Perez's infield single that rolled approximately 60 feet. Former Ray Jake Bauers drew a bases-loaded walk for an insurance run.
"It was nice to get the W," Perez said. "We needed it as a team and hopefully we come back (Saturday) and keep the intensity up."
Jason Kipnis carries a 19-game on-base streak into Saturday's game against Tampa Bay right-hander Charlie Morton (4-0, 2.65 ERA).
Morton owns a 7-0 mark with a 3.21 ERA during a 17-start unbeaten streak that dates back to Aug. 17. However, he is looking to rebound after matching season highs in runs allowed (five) and walks allowed (four) while pitching a campaign-low four innings in a no-decision against the New York Yankees on Sunday.
The 35-year-old veteran sports a 2-2 record with a 3.70 ERA in four career starts versus Cleveland, with Jose Ramirez (1-for-8) and Francisco Lindor (2-for-11) struggling against him.
Tampa Bay saw a strong starting performance from reigning American League Cy Young Award recipient Blake Snell go to waste Friday after reliever Jose Alvarado came up short for the second time in his past three outings.
"It's just part of the game. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't," Alvarado said via a translator after his three walks in the eighth inning led to the Rays' third loss in five games. "There's nothing else I can really say about it."
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash dismissed the notion of his confidence being shaken by Alvarado's recent struggles.
"Not at all. No. Not at all," Cash said.
Tommy Pham carries a 10-game hitting streak into Saturday's tilt against Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco (4-4, 4.30 ERA).
Carrasco saw his two-start winning streak snapped on Monday. He sustained his first loss since April 28 after yielding three runs in five innings of a 6-4 setback versus the Oakland A's.
The 32-year-old right-hander owns a 4-5 record with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 11 career encounters (10 starts) with Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay's Avisail Garcia drove in his fifth run in three contests Friday and pushed his mini hitting streak to four games with an RBI single in the first inning.
The 27-year-old, however, is just 7-for-36 (.194) with 12 strikeouts and one homer in his career against Carrasco.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 25, 2019