Colome, Rays blank Indians 2-0
CLEVELAND (AP) One night after being eliminated from playoff contention, the Cleveland Indians struggled across the board.
Cleveland managed just five hits and committed two errors in a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
The only bright spot came when Michael Brantley collected his 200th hit of the season with a fourth-inning single, but the All-Star left fielder admitted missing the playoffs is a disappointment.
''When you put on that uniform the first day of spring training your goal is to make the postseason and go further,'' he said. ''It stings a little bit that we're not going to do it again this year. Last year was such a great experience.''
Some of that sting was taken away when Brantley's hit off Alex Colome dropped into center field.
''It took forever for it to get back up the middle,'' he said. ''I wasn't sure if it was going to get there. It was like it was going in slow motion.''
Said manager Terry Francona: ''It's a nice even number that allows us to brag about him a little bit.''
Brantley, who also has 97 RBIs with one game left, pointed to the sky after rounding first and received a standing ovation from the crowd of 33,025.
''It was a little gesture to my grandmother,'' he said. ''I know she's up there watching me. I lost her about a year and a half back from cancer. I wanted to let her know she's a part of me and the reason that I'm the man I am today.''
Brantley became the first Cleveland player to reach the 200-hit mark since Kenny Lofton in 1996. He's also the first player in club history to record 200 hits, 20 homers, 20 stolen bases and 40 doubles in the same season.
That was the lone offensive highlight for the Indians. Colome (2-0) allowed four hits in 6 1-3 innings and Jake McGee struck out the side in the ninth for his 19th save.
Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco (8-7) allowed one earned run and four hits while striking out 10 in 7 2-3 innings.
Carrasco criticized his defense for two plays that weren't made in a 2-0 loss to Kansas City on Monday. The right-hander apologized the following day in a statement released by the team. He made a throwing error in this game.
David DeJesus led off the fourth with an infield single for the Rays' first hit of the game. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall then misplayed Evan Longoria's routine ground ball and made a wild throw that sailed into right field, allowing DeJesus to reach third. Wil Myers singled for the lead.
Carrasco recorded his third double-digit strikeout performance of the season, all coming this month. The right-hander compiled a 1.30 ERA in 10 starts since rejoining the rotation last month.
''I really surprised myself doing what I did,'' he said. ''I feel good about everything.''
Carrasco was pulled with a runner on third in the eighth. Loney's infield hit off Marc Rzepczynski added another run.
Cleveland's best chance to score came in the first. Jose Ramirez, whose homer scored Friday's only run, bunted for a hit with one out and stole second. He advanced to third on a fly ball, but Carlos Santana struck out.
Indians reliever Bryan Shaw made his 80th appearance of the season, breaking a club record previously held by Bob Howry in 2005.
Francona said 2B Jason Kipnis (strained right hamstring) won't play again this season. Kipnis, who is batting .240 with 41 RBIs, has been limited to a DH role the last several games. ''This is probably the first year he's ever really struggled, and I don't think he liked it very much,'' Francona said.
The Indians added to their single-season record for strikeouts by fanning 11 batters, running their total for the year to 1,442. The Rays moved into second on the all-time list with 1,430 after also recording 11 strikeouts. The 2013 Detroit Tigers (1,428) held the record going into this weekend.
Rays: C Curt Casali (concussion) hasn't played since being struck on the mask by two foul tips off the bat of Boston's Rusney Castillo on Wednesday.
Indians: OF Zach Walters (right intercostal strain) has appeared in two games with one at-bat since being injured on Sept. 15.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (10-8) will start the final game of the season Sunday. He was the winning pitcher in last season's wild-card game against the Indians at Progressive Field.
Indians: LHP T.J. House (4-3) will start in place of RHP Danny Salazar. Salazar is 6-8 in 20 starts and has pitched a career-high 110 innings.