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Rays vs. Indians, game 1: Bats dry off, bullpen dominates

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Wright, Lueke, and Ramos throw eight innings of one-hit ball.

Ramos got his first career save, if you want to call it that.
Ramos got his first career save, if you want to call it that.
Greg Fiume

If no one is awake to see the back end of the Rays bullpen pitch a one-hitter against the best offense in the league, did it really happen?

After three rain delays totaling nearly five hours, play resumed in Cleveland. It seemed like a raw deal for the Rays, having to burn their ace, Matt Moore after only one inning of work (the Cleveland starter, Corey Kluber got to pitch two innings, yippee!). Still, as I always say, "Who needs Matt Moore when you have Jamey Wright, Josh Lueke, and Cesar Ramos?" Wright pitched three innings, striking out four while walking one and allowing no hits; Lueke pitched two innings, striking out one while allowing one walk and one hit; and Ramos pitched three innings, striking out two while allowing one walk and no hits.

Meanwhile, the Rays bats pummeled the struggling Cleveland bullpen, forcing Terry Francona to use five pitchers in addition to his original starter. Matt Joyce homered in the third inning and James Loney homered in both the third and the eight, with Evan Longoria also chipping in an RBI double high off the wall.

The teams will have a quick turnaround as Chris Archer faces Ubaldo Jimenez today at 1:05 (barring more weather). Hopefully Archer can pitch deep into the game, but at least the Rays bullpen (including newly arrived Jeff Beliveau) is in just about as good shape as could be hoped for.

One other note:

  • The Rays got a good break when Michael Bourn was caught in a rundown at the end of a strike-em-out throw-em-out double play. After some back and forth, Yunel Escobar decided to run him down himself. He dove, and probably missed the tag. I just mention the play because it's an amusingly bad decision. On the replay, it sure looked like the pitcher was over covering first base and ready to receive a toss. I know Yunel is a confident player, but it's almost never the right decision to put yourself in a straight-up footrace with Michael Bourn.