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Tampa Bay at Cleveland

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Tampa Bay (30-24) «0050000139112
Cleveland (29-25)000020000210

Four Rays pitchers combine for 1-hitter in win over Indians

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- When the game finally ended, Friday night had become Saturday morning, May had turned to June and Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was tired of trying to predict the weather.

James Loney homered twice, four Tampa Bay pitchers combined on a one-hitter and the Rays endured nearly five hours of rain delays before beating the Cleveland Indians 9-2 for their sixth straight win in a game that ended at 2:53 a.m.

Scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m., the game was delayed three times before finally resuming at 12:13 a.m. -- 2 hours, 39 minutes after the third and lengthiest delay. Before that there was uncertainty, confusion and, of course, rain.

"It's a very awkward way to do this, "said Maddon, who spent the weather stoppages monitoring the storms on an iPad in his office. "But if you're going to stick around that long you might as well win."

The teams were delayed a total of 4:49, long enough for the calendar to change before nine innings were played. It ended just before 3 a.m., giving the teams a short turnaround before a 1:05 start on Saturday.

It was the majors' third marathon game in two days. On Thursday night, Kansas City and St. Louis were delayed an hour before the first pitch and another 4 hours, 32 minutes by rain before the Royals beat Cardinals 4-2 well after 3 in the morning.

And about 20 minutes after the Rays got their final out, the San Diego Padres finished off a 4-3, 17-inning victory over the Toronto Blue Jays that took 4:58.

Afterward, Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria went on Twitter to thank the few thousand fans who hung around until the end.

"A sincere thanks to each and every fan that stuck around to watch that game!" Longoria wrote. "You all made it fun. [hash]ClevelandRocks."

Matt Joyce and Loney connected for two-run homers in Tampa's five-run third inning off Scott Barnes (0-1), who replaced starter Corey Kluber following the weather stoppages. Loney added a solo shot to make it 6-2 in the eighth.

Jamey Wright (1-1) came in for unbeaten Tampa starter Matt Moore and pitched three innings for the Rays, who went an AL-best 18-10 in May. Cleveland's only hit was Ryan Raburn's RBI double in the fifth off Josh Lueke.

Cesar Ramos pitched three hitless innings for his first career save.

The teams had little choice but wait out the long delays. With a forecast for heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday, crew chief Fieldin Culbreth and the umpires figured they had to try to get in one game with the possibility the whole weekend could get washed out. The teams aren't scheduled to meet again this season.

The game was delayed 1 hours, 57 minutes at the start, 13 minutes in the second inning and then for another 2:39 before it started again in front of a crowd that began as more than 30,000 and dwindled to just a few thousand, who waited it out and were rewarded for their patience.

At about 11 p.m., Maddon, Indians manager Terry Francona, Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti and two umpires did a walking tour of the saturated outfield grass to inspect the conditions. Not long after that, the overworked grounds crew was summoned again to get the field ready and at 12:13 a.m. Wright threw a pitch to Nick Swisher.

At one point during the third delay, Maddon, with the hood of his blue sweatshirt pulled over his head to try and stay dry, took a stroll through the soggy outfield and thought it might be unplayable.

But in the end, he felt Culbreth and his crew handled things well.

"It was very confusing to everybody," Maddon said. "Fieldin and the boys, umpiring wise, they were handed this. The group here felt the Indians really wanted to play the game tonight."

Francona, too, praised the umpires.

"I thought they handled it very well," he said.

After thunderstorms blasted through the area, the 7:05 p.m. start was pushed back to 9:02 p.m. and the teams took the field under threatening skies.

Kluber got two outs in the second inning when play was halted by rain at 9:18 as Culbreth ordered the grounds crew to put the tarp on the field. But within seconds of the infield being covered, the rain stopped and the game was re-started just 13 minutes later.

Kluber gave up a walk and got Desmond Jennings to line out for the last out in the second when the rain resumed after three minutes of play and the game was stopped again at 9:34 p.m.

Both Maddon and Francona met separately with the umpires as fans scrambled to stay dry. The Indians announced they reduced $1 dollar hot dogs to 50 cents as a way of thanking fans for enduring the rain. During the third delay, fans watched out-of-town games on the giant scoreboard and cheered when Baltimore beat the first-place Detroit Tigers on a walkoff homer, moving the Indians into a temporary tie atop the AL Central.

Joyce said players wondered if they would ever take the field.

"We were actually in the dark pretty much the whole night," he said. "It's tough. A lot of guys were ready to go home and play a doubleheader [Saturday]."

The Rays came out swinging after the lengthy delays as Joyce and Loney homered off Barnes in the third to give Tampa Bay a 5-0 lead.

Yunel Escobar singled with one out, and with two outs, Joyce drove Barnes' pitch 411 feet over the wall in right-center for his 10th homer. Kelly Johnson walked and scored on Longoria's double, and Loney followed with his sixth homer, a shot that drew boos from the doused fans hanging around.

Held without a hit through four innings by Moore and the journeyman Wright, the Indians cut it to 5-2 in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Yan Gomes and Raburn's two-out RBI double.

Notes

  • It was Loney's first multihomer game since Sept. 7, 2007.
  • Maddon said there has been discussion about starting Moore on Sunday, built it's more likely he will next in Detroit next week.
  • Browns offensive linemen, including Pro Bowler Joe Thomas, visited the Indians clubhouse before the game and then crowded into the dugout to stay out of the rain. Thomas couldn't convince one of the rookies to do a belly slide across the tarp for money.
  • Indians closer Chris Perez, on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, will be reevaluated Sunday before the next step in his rehab is mapped out.
  • Rays RHP Alex Colome, who made his major league debut Thursday in Miami, was optioned to Triple-A Durham. LHP Jeff Beliveau was recalled, but later optioned so Rays RHP Chris Archer can make his season debut Saturday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Loney
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Tampa Bay

Y. Escobar
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ben Zobrist, 2B5021011 .253
Matt Joyce, RF4112011 .264
   a- Sean Rodriguez, PH-LF1000012 .258
Kelly Johnson, LF2100220 .287
    Sam Fuld, LF-RF1011000 .174
Evan Longoria, 3B5111023 .308
James Loney, 1B5223012 .331
Luke Scott, DH3000120 .257
Desmond Jennings, CF4110001 .255
Jose Lobaton, C4110000 .256
Yunel Escobar, SS4221000 .234
Totals389119310  
a-struck out for Joyce in the 9th
Batting
2B - Evan Longoria (17, Barnes), Jose Lobaton (6, Hill)
HR - Matt Joyce (10, Barnes), James Loney 2 (7, Barnes, Shaw)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (33), Matt Joyce 2 (25), Sam Fuld (5), Evan Longoria (31), James Loney 3 (28), Yunel Escobar (24)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Joyce 2 (9), Evan Longoria (14), James Loney 3 (9)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Lobaton-Zobrist-Loney-Escobar
E - James Loney (3, Dropped fly), Evan Longoria (5, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Moore 1000010 2.18
Jamey Wright (W,1-1) 3020140 3.12
Josh Lueke 2100110 3.72
Cesar Ramos (S,1) 3000120 4.43
WP - Josh Lueke (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Moore 11-6, Jamey Wright 40-26, Josh Lueke 25-14, Cesar Ramos 41-26
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jamey Wright 4-2, Josh Lueke 1-3, Cesar Ramos 3-4
Batters Faced - Matt Moore 3, Jamey Wright 11, Josh Lueke 7, Cesar Ramos 10
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF3000121 .304
Mike Aviles, 2B4000020 .263
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS4000010 .256
Nick Swisher, 1B3100120 .267
Mark Reynolds, 3B3100000 .250
Carlos Santana, DH3000002 .279
Yan Gomes, C2001010 .310
Ryan Raburn, LF3011000 .296
Drew Stubbs, RF2000101 .235
Totals2721238  
Batting
2B - Ryan Raburn (8, Lueke)
SF - Yan Gomes (2)
RBI - Yan Gomes (14), Ryan Raburn (16)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Raburn (15)
CS - Michael Bourn (3, 2nd base by Lueke/Lobaton)
Team LOB - 2
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Corey Kluber 2000130 4.36
Scott Barnes (L,0-1) 1455122 7.27
Matt Albers 2000100 3.26
Nick Hagadone 2100010 6.75
Bryan Shaw 1111011 3.42
Rich Hill 1533030 7.04
Pitches-Strikes - Corey Kluber 24-17, Scott Barnes 30-19, Matt Albers 21-13, Nick Hagadone 33-18, Bryan Shaw 12-8, Rich Hill 31-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Barnes 1-0, Matt Albers 6-0, Nick Hagadone 1-4
Batters Faced - Corey Kluber 7, Scott Barnes 8, Matt Albers 7, Nick Hagadone 7, Bryan Shaw 4, Rich Hill 8
Game Information
Attendance - 29603
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Adrian Johnson