Tampa Bay Rays
limped out of town, hoping a homestand will help the them get back on track.
and four relievers combined to stifle the Rays and
drove in both runs for the
in a 2-1 victory Thursday, completing a four-game sweep of the defending American League champions.
The Rays have lost five in a row overall and 17 straight in Cleveland, the longest road losing streak against one team in
club history. It was the first four-game sweep for the Indians since they did it to the Rays July 10-13 at Progressive Field.
''Maybe next time we come in, we'll have some candles and holy water,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''I have no good explanation
The Rays' run came on
's homer in the sixth, which was upheld after using video replay.
Aybar's 1-0 pitch to right field was just out of the reach of a leaping Shin-Soo Choo. Replays showed the ball hit the yellow
line atop the wall before caroming back into the field of play. First base umpire Angel Hernandez immediately ruled it a home
run, prompting Indians manager
to argue. After a 90-second video review, crew chief Tim Welke confirmed the call.
''You ask four people what they saw on the replay, two of them are going to be adamant that it was not a home run and two
will be adamant that it was a home run,'' Wedge said. ''I'm not talking about umpires, I'm talking players, fans, coaches,
whoever it may be. But I appreciate the fact they went in and took a look at it. It has to be their choice. When they do that,
you have to respect what they come up with.''
It was a difficult road trip for the Rays, who went 2-5 against the
and Cleveland, placing their shortstop, second baseman, closer and staff ace on the disabled list in the span of a week. Now
they return home to open a three-game series against the
, having dropped six games back of Boston in he AL East.
''It was a strange series, all in all,'' Maddon said. ''We need to play some games at home. We need to get our mojo back.''
The Indians' bullpen, which has struggled much of this season, excelled Thursday.
combined to hold Tampa Bay to one run on four hits over five innings after a 2 hour, 40 minute rain delay in the fourth inning
knocked out Huff.
Herges (1-0) struck out
to end the seventh inning with B.J. Upton on second to preserve the slim lead.
''He's a lot better than I am,'' Herges said of Longoria. ''Anytime I get him out, I'll take it. He's going to get me a lot
more than I'll get him.''
reached on a bunt single in the third off starter
(4-4). He scored on a groundout by Martinez, who singled to drive home
in the fifth for the game's only other run.
The Indians' bullpen did the rest. Over their last 18 innings - all against Tampa Bay - Tribe relievers have allowed one run
on 13 hits. It has allowed the Indians to rally for victories from 10-0 and 5-0 deficits in the series.
''They've gone beyond the call of duty here of late because we've needed so many innings from them,'' Wedge said. ''They've
been doing a very good job. They need to recognize that and feel good about how they're performing as a unit.''
The final three games of this series were delayed by rain, and Tampa Bay has now endured rain delays in four of its last five
The delay prevented Huff from picking up his first major league victory after he was off to the best start of his brief career.
He entered 0-1 with a 17.55 ERA, and was blasted by the Rays for seven runs in 3 2-3 innings last week in his major league
debut. Huff had allowed four hits through four innings Thursday before giving way to the rain. He made seven starts at Triple-A,
six of which were affected by rain, he said.
''My nickname was Rainman,'' Huff said. ''I'm used to it. It happens. You can't control it, so you just move on.''
Notes: Prior to the game, the Indians recalled
from Triple-A Columbus and optioned
back to Columbus. RHP
was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Ohka. ... RHP
will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Saturday. ...
started for the second straight game at short for the Rays after starting in right field the first two games of the series.