Indians 3, Rays 2

Zach McAllister took a line drive to the forearm and kept right

on pitching.

The Cleveland right-hander shrugged off the scary moment to

finish six solid innings Monday night, and the Indians held on to

beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2.

McAllister (4-1) said he was not affected by being struck by

Jeff Keppinger’s RBI single in the fourth inning. Unfazed, he

remained in the game to retire the next six batters and eight of

the last nine he faced overall after struggling early.

”This whole game was a battle for me,” McAllister said. ”I

had a good mix (of pitches). I wouldn’t say anything was great, but

I was able to mix pretty well.”

Shin-Soo Choo had an RBI double in the third after he had what

initially was ruled a home run overturned by instant replay in the

first for Cleveland.

The umpires huddled after Rays center fielder B.J. Upton

signaled that the ball hit high off the wall instead of clearing it

and bouncing back onto the field. Choo was sent back to second base

and eventually scored on a passed ball that gave the Indians an

early lead on Alex Cobb (4-6).

Choo scored again in the third when Jason Kipnis doubled to make

it 3-0. The Indians squandered several chances to break the game

open, going 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

”We had a lot of opportunities to score runs, we know that.

Wasn’t very good night executing offensively, but we won the

ballgame,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. ”These guys have

been able to win close ballgames the whole year. They’ll fight,

they’ll fight and fight. Tonight it was the case when it looked

like it was going to be one of those games that at the end was

going to bite you.”

McAllister allowed one run and three hits before being replaced

by Esmil Rogers, who yielded a first-pitch home run to Desmond

Jennings leading off the seventh. A pair of two-out walks put the

potential tying run in scoring position before the third Indians

pitcher of the inning, Vinnie Pestano, came on to strike out Ben

Zobrist.

Pestano fanned pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad to escape another jam

with two men on in the eighth. Chris Perez worked a perfect ninth,

earning his 26th save in 28 opportunities.

The loss was the 12th in 18 games for the Rays, who continue to

struggle offensively. They’ve been held to four runs or less 15

times during that stretch.

”Every game that you lose is frustrating. But mentally you’ve

got to choose to … look at the positives,” said designated

hitter Luke Scott, who had two hits and a stolen base. ”You’ve got

to look at how we battled.”

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon agreed.

”Honestly, I’m not frustrated. The effort was great. A lot of

the things we’ve been working on, we did well,” Maddon said.

”There’s a lot of good stuff that happened. We just have to be a

little more consistent in getting that hit, that run. But we played

a pretty good game of baseball. When we play well and lose, I go

home and I’m fine.”

Pitching on seven days’ rest, McAllister made his second

consecutive start against the Rays. He retired 13 of the first 14

batters he faced against them at home on July 8, but wound up

allowing four runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings and was not

involved in the decision of a 7-6 loss.

The 24-year-old right-hander walked three and needed 41 pitches

to get through the first two innings this time. He held the Rays

hitless until B.J. Upton singled, leading off the fourth. Scott

followed with a single and Keppinger drove in Tampa Bay’s first run

when he lined a pitch that struck McAllister on his

follow-through.

Cleveland’s trainer examined the spot where McAllister said he

was hit, and the pitcher remained in the game. He avoided further

damage in the inning when Jennings bounced into a double play and

Jose Molina grounded out.

”McAllister started the game a little shaky. Was nibbling a

lot,” Acta said. ”Then he got into a very good groove. Terrific

recovery after the way he had started. And then after he got hit by

the line drive right outside his elbow, we were a little worried

about that, but he did a terrific job after that and gave us six

good innings.”

Notes: Cobb allowed three runs and five hits over 3 1/3 innings.

… The Indians said OF Trevor Crowe was released from Triple-A

Columbus. … Tampa Bay OF Matt Joyce, on the disabled list since

June 22 with a left external oblique strain, could be nearing the

end of a rehab assignment with Single-A Charlotte. He will be

re-evaluated Tuesday and could rejoin the Rays before the end of

this four-game series. … Maddon said 3B Evan Longoria (partially

torn left hamstring) may travel with the team to continue workouts

during a road trip that begins next Tuesday at Baltimore.