Indians’ 9th-inning rally falls short as Rays hang on for 6-4 win
CLEVELAND (AP) — Rookie Brandon Lowe homered and drove in three runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays hung on in the ninth inning to defeat the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Sunday, taking two of three from the AL Central leaders.
Ryan Yarbrough, another rookie, allowed one run in five-plus innings of relief for opener Diego Castillo, who was removed after Yandy Diaz’s leadoff single in the second.
Yarbrough (13-5), who earned his major league-leading 11th relief win, was pulled after Jose Ramirez’s RBI single in the seventh. Adam Kolarek pitched two scoreless innings before Cleveland made it closer in the ninth.
The Rays have won 11 of 13 and are a season-high 10 games over .500 (73-63). Tampa Bay trails Oakland by eight games for the second wild card spot in the AL.
Francisco Lindor singled off Hunter Wood to lead off the ninth. Jose Ramirez drew a one-out walk and Diaz had an RBI single. Jose Alvarado replaced Wood and struck out Yonder Alonso, but Melky Cabrera’s two-run double cut the lead to two.
Alvarado struck out Jason Kipnis for his seventh save in 10 opportunities.
Lowe homered to lead off the second and added a two-run double in the seventh for his first-ever three-hit game.
Carlos Carrasco (16-7) allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings and lost for the third time in his last 11 decisions.
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Carrasco appeared to wince after throwing a pitch to Jake Bauers in the fourth. Several infielders talked with him on the mound and were soon joined by manager Terry Francona and a team trainer. Carrasco remained in the game and walked Bauers before striking out Carlos Gomez and Adam Moore. .
C.J. Cron began the fourth with his team-leading 26th homer. Joey Wendle, who made two outstanding plays at third base in the sixth, had an RBI double in the seventh that was followed by Tommy Pham’s run-scoring triple.
Wendle charged Greg Allen’s slow roller and threw the speedy center fielder out at first. Francisco Lindor followed with a grounder, and Wendle made a diving stop and threw him out to end the inning.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (back spasms) was out of the lineup after leaving Saturday’s game in the seventh.
Indians: LHP Andrew Miller (sore shoulder) threw up to 75 feet off flat ground Sunday. Miller, who has also dealt with hamstring and knee injuries, is on the disabled list for the third time this season.
Rays: Tampa Bay opens a three-game series at Toronto on Monday. Manager Kevin Cash was undecided on the starter before Sunday’s game.
Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (4-4, 4.94 ERA) will pitch the opener of a three-game series Monday against Kansas City. RHP Jakob Junis (7-12, 4.53) will start for the Royals.
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