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Cleveland Indians' offense struggles again; lose 4-1 to Tampa Bay Rays

The Indians were just 1-9 with runners in scoring position.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Rays 4, Indians 1

box score

Indians fall to 31-35


The weather was perfect.  The celebration for the 1995 Indians was fun to see.  Progressive Field was relatively full.  The Tribe even had a hot pitcher on the mound.  It seemed like a great night for all things Cleveland.  One thing was missing . . . some offense.

The Indians were kept off balance all evening long by Tampa pitching and struggled again with runners on base, culminating in a 4-1 loss to the Rays.

The Tribe offense did get off to a promising start.  Jason Kipnis doubled to open the bottom of the first, followed by a Francisco Lindor bunt single.  After a Michael Brantley line out, Kipnis scored on a wild pitch from Rays' pitcher Nate Karns (to Karns credit, catcher Rene Rivera gave a pretty awful effort on the just-off-the-plate pitch).  The run tied the score at one, as Tampa's Joey Butler smashed a home run to right center field in the top of the inning.

From there on, the Indians' offense was one part frustrating, one part hideous.  There were strikeouts (nine of them), weak ground balls, and a total lack of clutch hits.  Take the sixth inning for example; another BABIP single from Lindor opened the frame, followed by a Brantley single to left.  Out goes Karns and in comes Rays' reliever Xavier Cedeno.  With the crowd excited and pumped up, the trifecta of Carlos Santana, Ryan Raburn, and Brandon Moss all struck out swinging to end the threat.

Tampa's Karns pitched well and mixed his pitches well enough, earning his fourth win of the year.  He allowed one run on six hits over 5 1/3 innings.  The Rays' bullpen was spot-on tonight, as Cedeno, Steve Geltz, Jake McGee, and Brad Boxberger allowed just one hit over the last 3 2/3 innings.

For the Tribe, Carlos Carrasco offered up a gutsy performance on a night when he didn't have his sharpest stuff.  Carrasco allowed three runs on ten hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking none.  Two of the three runs given up by Carrasco came via the home run, with Butler's blast in the first and LGFT hall of famer Asdrubal Cabrera's homer in the second.

Recently called-up relievers Kyle Crockett and Jeff Manship pitched scoreless innings in relief for the Tribe, while Scott Atchison allowed a monster solo home run to Steven Souza Jr in the ninth.

Game two of the series between the Rays and Indians is set for 7:10 ET tomorrow, with Erasmo Ramirez squaring off against Corey Kluber.

Win Probability Chart

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

Total Comments: 185

Total Commenters: 19

Game Thread

# Commenter # Comments
1 Ryan Y 51
2 PyroKinesis 34
3 LosIndios 20
4 emd2k3 19
5 westbrook 16
6 Bearcatbob 9
7 palcal 6
8 bschwartz 5
9 stratrules 5
10 ahowie 4
11 Denver Tribe Fan 3
12 Ron Y. 3
13 no1ever 2
14 RabbiHick 2
15 wraith_ 2
16 MooneysRebellion 1
17 tgriffith1992 1
18 Jason Philipps 1
19 AmbienTribe8 1