Indians Cruise Past Rays to Even Up the Four-Game Series

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH -- In the eighth inning of a classic pitcher's duel, the Indians finally cracked the code on the Rays bullpen. With the bases loaded and two outs Roberto Perez hit a dribbler down the third base line, Rays' third baseman Andrew Velasquez attempted a bare hand grab but was unable to make the play, as the tribe took a late 2-1 lead. Jake Bauers followed up the RBI single with a walk, bringing home Carlos Santana to put the Indians on top 3-1. Brad Hand shut the door on the Tampa Bay Rays to get the tribe back in the winning column.

Shane Bieber had yet another stellar performance tonight, after a shaky first inning the Indians right hander went into cruise control. Bieber, who recorded 10 strikeouts today, became the youngest Indians pitcher with at least 10 strikeouts and 1 or fewer runs allowed in back-to-back starts since Dennis Eckersley in September 1976. The tribe pitching recorded a total of 16 strikeouts against one of the hottest lineups in baseball.

Reigning Cy Young winner Blake Snell was nearly unhittable, giving up four hits through 6.2 innings pitched, only allowing one run, which came on an opposite field solo blast by Jordan Luplow. Rays flamethrower Jose Alvarado had trouble finding the strike zone, as the Indians showed great patience in the 8th inning. Alvarado was hit with his fourth loss of the season, moving to 0-4 on the year.

The Cleveland Indians will square off against the Tampa Bay Rays in game three of the four-game set on Saturday afternoon. The tribe will give the ball to Carlos Carrasco, Tampa Bay will give the nod to Charlie Morton. First pitch is set for 4:10 PM ET at beautiful Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

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