Rays held to 3 hits in shutout loss to Corey Kluber, Indians
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Even if he's still seeking his first big league win, rookie Blake Snell took another step forward Tuesday night.
The left-hander threw a career-high 6 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs, while the Cleveland Indians pulled away for a 6-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Snell (0-2), Tampa Bay's top prospect, struck out three and walked three in his third appearance in the majors. He gave up three runs and seven hits.
"Blake is going to be a big part of our future and a real good pitcher, and this was a really good night for him," manager Kevin Cash said. "I was really impressed with the way he approached the whole night against a very good team."
Tampa Bay's losing streak reached a season-high six games. The Rays failed to advance a runner to third base, and they had only three hits off former AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (7-7), who threw his second shutout of the season.
Corey Dickerson singled in the second, and Brad Miller and Evan Longoria had back-to-back hits in the ninth to account for all of Tampa Bay's offense.
"Not many guys can generate a lot of late action at the top of the strike zone like Kluber can," said Cash, who worked with Kluber as the Indians' bullpen coach in 2013 and 2014. "But we had a really good pitcher on the mound, too. Blake didn't waver in any situation out there."
Snell, whose ERA rose to 2.45, made his big league debut on April 23. He was hurt by poor defense for the second straight start.
Center fielder Desmond Jennings misplayed a hard liner hit by Jason Kipnis in the third, allowing it to bounce off the ground and his glove before caroming over his head. Yan Gomes scored on the single, while Kipnis circled the bases thanks to the three-base error.
The Indians scored their third run in the sixth, aided by shortstop Miller booting a ground ball. Five of the nine runs Snell has allowed for the Rays have been unearned.
"That bounce over D.J. was crazy, but I wish I had executed the slider to Kipnis better," Snell said. "Overall, I'm really happy about the way I pitched and I did the best I could. It was nice to give the team a chance to win. I'll feel a lot more confident going into my next game."
Before the game, Tampa Bay placed infielder Steve Pearce (right hamstring strain) and outfielder Mikie Mahtook (left hand fracture) on the 15-day disabled list. Both players were hurt Monday in the series opener.
Cash said Pearce, who is batting .322 with nine homers and 25 RBIs in 51 games, could be sidelined for more than the required two weeks. The Rays also have outfielders Brandon Guyer (left hamstring strain), Kevin Kiermaier (left hand fracture) and Steven Souza Jr. (left hip strain) on the DL.
Rays RHP Steve Geltz, making his third appearance since being recalled from Triple A-Durham last week, allowed consecutive homers to Jose Ramirez and Juan Uribe in the eighth. Geltz has given up nine homers in 18 2/3 innings this season, posting an 0-2 record with a 6.75 ERA.
Rays: RHP Ryan Webb (right pectoral strain) made his second rehab appearance at Triple-A Durham, striking out two in one inning Monday.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder soreness) has also been diagnosed with right biceps tendinitis and received a cortisone shot.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer was a fifth-round draft pick of the Indians in 2006. He is 0-4 with a 4.91 ERA in four career starts against Cleveland.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer has a 3-2 record with a 3.23 ERA in 10 starts after making his first six appearances of the season in relief.