The Tampa Bay Rays (73-63) won a series against one of the AL's best, and improved to ten games over .500 by knocking off the Indians (77-59) on Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
The Rays struck first in this game when Brandon Lowe hit a solo shot in the top of the second. In the fourth inning, it was CJ Cron coming through to lift the Rays to a 2-0 advantage. In the sixth inning, Joey Wendle made a pair of incredible defensive plays, and continued his big game when he hit an RBI double in the top of the seventh. Tommy Pham followed with an RBI triple to make it 4-0 before Brandon Lowe delivered the crushing blow - a two-run double that made it 6-0.
The Indians tried to fight back, as can be expected for a team leading the pack for an American League Central Championship. Jose Ramirez singled in a run on a misplay from Rays first baseman CJ Cron in the seventh, and Cleveland trailed by five going into the final frame. In the bottom of the ninth inning Yandy Diaz had an RBI single to make it 6-2 before Melky Cabrera came up with a two-run double that pulled the game within 6-4 and brought the potential tying run to the plate for Cleveland.
Diego Castillo got the start in the opener role for the Rays and was effective, before yielding to Ryan Yarbrough (13-5, 3.68) pitched five excellent innings to pick up the win. He allowed just one run on two hits while striking out three and walking one. After Hunter Wood allowed the ninth inning runs that Cleveland used to make it close, Jose Alvarado came in and picked up his seventh save of the year. Carlos Carrasco (16-8, 3.52) took the loss for the Indians, allowing five earned runs on nine hits while striking out nine and walking two in six and a third innings.
The Rays road trip continues as they head to Toronto to begin a three game series on Monday night against the Blue Jays. First pitch on Labor Day is set for 7:07 - coverage begins with Steve Carney and the Inside Pitch at 6 on 620 WDAE & 95.3 FM.