It wasn't the cleanest pitching performance but why argue with success? Erik Bedard needed 101 pitches to get through six one-hit innings, and the offense was clutch as the Rays defeated Cleveland 7-1 Saturday night.
A crowd of nearly 30,000 at the Trop (it was DJ Kitty plush hat night) saw the Rays end a four-game slide to start off the homestand. James Loney went 3-for-4 with two RBI and Matt Joyce also drive in two with a pair of sacrifice flies, giving him a league-leading seven for the season.
Bedard walked three and struck out four. Juan Carlos Oviedo came on to toss two perfect frames before Grant Balfour struggled, getting out of a troubling ninth with a game-ending double play. Jake McGee had gotten up to get warm after the bases were loaded.
Ben Zobrist showed signs of snapping out of a slump with a 2-for-4 night, scoring twice. And Evan Longoria had an RBI double, scoring twice.
The Rays try to win the series Sunday afternoon. All of the action airs on WDAE.
David DeJesus started the scoring with a single in the third that brought home Desmond Jennings, who led off the inning with a single and stole second with two outs.
An inning later Loney singled with one out, followed by a Wil Myers double to the wall. Joyce's sac fly made it 2-0 and Yunel Escobar singled for 3-0.
Longoria's double brought in Zobrist for a 4-0 lead in the fifth, with Loney's run-scoring single chasing starter Zach McAllister. Loney and Joyce added tack-on runs in the seventh, after Zobrist had doubled and Longoria was intentionally walked.