ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (620 WDAE) -- Jake Odorizzi had his best outing in more than a month, but once again, the bullpen could not hold a lead.
Joel Peralta and Brandon Gomes allowed Cleveland to score five runs in the seventh inning, turning what was a Tampa Bay lead into the Rays' sixth straight home loss, a 6-3 decision.
Both Rays starter Jake odorizzi and Indians starter Corey Kluber kept batters off the scoreboard through the first three innings of play. Odorizzi had the harder time on the mound, finding himself in multiple situations with runners on base, but escaping each time without allowing a run.
Tampa Bay got on the board in the fourth, as David DeJesus led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout by Ben Zobrist, and scored on a sacrifice fly by James Loney.
Odorizzi would leave after the fifth inning, having thrown 101 pitches but allowing just five hits. He walked two and struck out a career-high eleven.
The Rays added another run in the home half of the fifth, as Matt Joyce singled, moved to third on a hit and run single by Logan Forsythe, and scored on a double by DeJesus.
Brad Boxberger, who had not allowed a run in any of his six appearances coming in to Friday, was tagged with the first run of the game for Cleveland, as Asdrubal Cabrera led off the top of the sixth with a solo home run to right field. Boxberger would only retire one better in the inning, and Maddon was forced to go to Jake McGee to get the final two outs of the frame.
The wheels fell off the bus an inning later, as Cleveland once again led off with a solo home run, this time by Michael Brantley off Joel Peralta. Carlos Santana drew a walk, and Cabrera spun a grounder around the shift to move the Cleveland third baseman to third base.
Maddon turned to Brandon Gomes to try and keep the score tied, but Yan Gomes would single in Santana to break the tie, and following a passed ball and groundout by Lonnie Chisenhall, Mike Aviles lifted a three-run homer to left off Gomes to make the score 6-2.
Tampa Bay mounted a comeback with two-out in the ninth against Indians closer John Axford, as Forsythe doubled, and following a walk to Hanigan, scored on a double by DeJesus. Ben Zobrist came to the plate as the possible tying run and drew a walk, ending Axford's night. Terry Francona then turned to Cody Allen against James Loney, who after a ten-pitch at bat flew out to end the game.
The Rays have now lost six straight games at home, and are also six games under .500 on the year.
Tampa Bay will hope left-hander Erik Bedard (1-1, 4.35 ERA) can end the streak Saturday when he takes on Zach McAlister. Pregame coverage begins at 6:00 on WDAE with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10.
NOTES: Shortstop Yunel Escobar left the game in the second inning with a right thumb contusion. X-rays were negative, and he is listed as day-to-day.