The Rays were shut out again, for the second game in a row, and fifth time in the last eight games. This time, it was Mike Clevinger who gets all the cap tips, after he gave up just four hits and walk in his seven innings of work. Joe Smith and Cody Allen sealed the deal with two perfect innings, adding two more Ks a piece.
But at least we weren’t no-hit! In fact, that came off the board early, when Corey Dickerson led off the Rays’ half of the first with a single. Unfortunately, Lucas Duda followed by smoking a grounder up the first base line that turned into a 3-6 double play. Because of course it did.
The lone threat came in the fifth, when Brad Miller doubled to lead off the inning. But with Trevor Plouffe batting and one out, Miller tried swipe third. He was gunned down by Roberto Perez. Because of course he was.
That inning continued though, as the Rays put two on via a Plouffe walk and a Mallex Smith infield single. Then, with homerun menace Corey Dickerson on deck, Adeiny Hechavarria worked a long, brilliant 12-pitch at bat. He ended up fouling out to first. Because of course he did.
Chris Archer was — well, he was fine? Not great, not dominant, but better than his line at least, which looked like this: five-and-a-third innings, three earned run, seven hits, eight strikeouts, and two walks.
The Indians got their first run in the first inning. Chris Archer carried his own perfect game all the way to the third batter of the game before finding his first jam. But it looked like he was going to get out of it, until Plouffe and Corey Dickerson misplayed a high popper toward the left field line into a Jay Bruce RBI double.
Cleveland got their second run in the third inning, when a 58 foot slider scored Francisco Lindor on a wild pitch. This also led to a nasty collision at the plate between Lindor and Archer. Thankfully, both players came away unscathed.
The Indians got their third run in the sixth, when Jose Ramirez led off with a hustle-double, and later scored on a Jay Bruce single through a drawn in infield.
On the bright side:
Sergio Romo was brilliant He worked one and two-thirds perfect innings and notched three strikeouts along the way, including one to Perez on a devastating slider that started in off the plate and broke over at the knees. This was vintage Romo.
Jose Alvarado also looked sharp, working one clean inning of relief and striking out two.