The Rays shutout the Cleveland Indians for the second consecutive day by a score of 6-0 in front of a loud 32,217 attendees at Tropicana Field Saturday. Alex Cobb pitched an impressive outing, pitching into the eighth inning while allowing only four hits. The Rays recorded back-to-back shutouts for the just the second time since 2008 and the sixth time in franchise history.
Cobb posted a 7.1 IP/4 H/0 R/0 ER/3 BB/6 K slash line, keeping the Indians hitters off-balance while pitching out of the few jams he got himself into. Joel Peralta and Cesar Ramos were also impressive, combining for 1-2/3 innings of one hit baseball to close out the eighth and ninth innings.
Two big narratives dominated the game Saturday: The jarring collision between Indians catcher Lou Marson and Desmond Jennings, and the subsequent plunking of Evan Longoria in retaliation.
Marson left the game in the fourth inning with a cervical-neck strain after Jennings slammed into Marson. He was able to hold onto third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall’s throw. “It was clean,” Marson said. “He got me pretty good. He had nowhere to go. I had the plate blocked pretty good, but it’s just my neck is a little sore.”
Both benches were warned by the umpires in the seventh inning when Cody Allen hit Evan Longoria in the buttocks with a pitch. Joe Maddon and the Rays felt the play was intentional, though Maddon went out of his way to absolve the Indians manager Terry Francona of any blame.
“I was actually cleaning my glasses at the time, so I didn’t see it firsthand,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “So then I heard about it, and it’s pretty much a consensus opinion that he did it intentionally. However, I will say one thing unequivocally, I know it did not come from Tito (Francona). He would not do that.
“I know it was a clean baseball play that did not deserve that kind of retaliation,” Maddon added. “The concern that they should have over there is that’s how you get players hurt on your team. For me, it had to come from one of the players, and I would absolutely point to the bullpen.”
Questions whether there may be some blowback Sunday linger, and it will be interesting to see how both teams handle themselves on the field.
Offensively speaking, Tampa Bay left a lot to be desired. The Rays didn’t do much to take advantage of Trevor Bauer’s inability to throw strikes. Tampa Bay got only one run when Bauer walked the first four batters, and none when he put three on in the third. Hitless into the fourth, Tampa Bay went 3-14 wRISP Saturday, only converting one run on four bases loaded scenarios.
Tampa Bay will face the Indians one last time Sunday at Tropicana Field before they head out on an eleven day road trip, taking them into Arlington, Boston and Baltimore. Rays ace David Price will get the start on the bump opposite of Justin Masterson. Price is in position to help the Rays make history after both Matt Moore and Alex Cobb held the Indians to no runs and seven hits through the first two games of this series.
Cleveland has managed nine hits while being outscored 16-0 in the last three meetings with Tampa Bay dating back to last season — a stretch that began July 19, when Price allowed two hits and struck out seven in seven innings of a 6-0 home win.
Rays 4/7/13 Starting Lineup: