Tampa Bay Rays (76-84) at Cleveland Indians (84-76)
Saturday, September 27 - 6:05 PM EST
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
The Cleveland Indians saw their slim hopes of an American League wild-card spot end late Friday night, a little more than an hour after recording a memorable victory. Carlos Carrasco tries to match Corey Kluber’s gem in the series opener when he takes the mound Saturday as the Indians host the Tampa Bay Rays in the second of a three-game set. Kluber threw eight scoreless innings in Cleveland’s 1-0 win Friday before Oakland’s victory eliminated the Indians from playoff contention.
Cleveland is 47-32 at home and would still be in the race if it had reached 40 road wins like Tampa Bay (40-39). The Rays, who will finish its first losing season since 2007, have lost six of their last eight games and three of four against the Indians this season. Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria is one of four players in the majors to participate in every game this season and leads the team in homers (22) and RBIs (90).
TV: 6:05 p.m. ET; Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), STO (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Alex Colome (1-0, 3.63 ERA) vs. Indians RH Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 2.64)
Colome makes his sixth big-league start - third this season - after giving up only five earned runs in the first five, spanning 28 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old Dominican struggled out of the bullpen in two outings this year, permitting six runs in five frames, but blanked the New York Yankees over 6 2/3 innings on Sept. 15. Colome went 7-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A Durham in 2014.
Carrasco lost two of his last three decisions, but has been outstanding since being re-inserted into the starting rotation on Aug. 10. The 27-year-old Venezuelan is 5-2 with a 1.32 ERA, striking out 68 and walking only eight over 61 1/3 innings the last nine starts. Longoria is 2-for-6 with a homer versus Carrasco, who is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against the Rays.
1. The Indians' pitching staff set a major-league record for a single season with 1,431 strikeouts and the Rays boast 1,419 – nine behind the 2013 Detroit Tigers for the second-most in history.
2. Tampa Bay INF Nick Franklin, acquired in the David Price deal July 31, is 7-for-27 with a homer and four RBIs in his first nine games with the club.
3. Cleveland LF Michael Brantley needs one hit and three RBIs to become only the third player in the majors over the last 12 seasons with at least 200 hits, 30 doubles, 100 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
PREDICTION: Indians 4, Rays 2