ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Mike Aviles had a nice sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning that didn’t result in any runs. One inning later he swung away with great results.
Aviles hit a three-run homer during a five-run seventh, Corey Kluber went 6⅔ effective innings, and the Cleveland Indians stopped a seven-game road losing streak by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 on Friday night.
“Mikey always plays the game,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Cleveland got solo homers from Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley. Kluber (3-3) allowed two runs, nine hits and had nine strikeouts.
Jake Odorizzi struck out a career-high 11 and gave up five hits in five shutout innings for the Rays, who have lost six straight at home.
“It’s just bittersweet that we couldn’t pull it out,” Odorizzi said.
The Indians were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position against Odorizzi.
“It was hard to get things going early in the game,” Aviles said. “We weren’t able to get that big hit when we needed it. We were able to get it later in the game.”
Brantley homered off Joel Peralta (1-3) before Yan Gomes hit an RBI single and Aviles had his three-run shot off Brandon Gomes as the Indians went ahead 6-2 in the seventh.
“The game score didn’t really reflect the way the game was played for the most part,” Francona said. “We put together one really good inning.”
For the fourth straight game, the Rays staged a serious ninth-inning threat. David DeJesus had an RBI double off John Axford with two outs that made it 6-3. Ben Zobrist then walked to load the bases, ending Axford’s night.
Cody Allen entered and got a fly ball from James Loney on a 3-2 pitch for his first save.
“It’s a crazy game,” DeJesus said. “We get the winning run on every night and we haven’t been able to pull it out. We just got to keep going.”
Cabrera, coming off a four-hit game in Thursday’s 9-4 victory over Minnesota, had a leadoff homer off Brad Boxberger in the sixth that pulled the Indians within 2-1. Cabrera finished with three hits and a walk.
After Loney hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, DeJesus put the Rays up 2-0 on a fifth-inning RBI double.
“Primarily, we have not hit,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “I mean, you look at the bullpen and we had one bad inning tonight, but we’ve scored 10 runs in the last four games.”
Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar left after the second inning with a bruised right thumb and is day to day. X-rays were negative.
Maddon’s challenge of a double play in the first inning resulted in the call being overturned when a video review determined that Zobrist beat the relay throw at first.
- The game took four hours, 10 minutes.
- Aviles has eight homers against the Rays, his most off any opponent.
- Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (strained right oblique) has been cleared to swing a bat this weekend.
- Cleveland DH Jason Giambi (strained right calf) is working out with the team and says he feels good.
- Tampa Bay CF Desmond Jennings, who went 1-for-15 in his previous three games, was rested.
- Cleveland INF Elliot Johnson accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus.
- The Indians gave no indication of appealing to MLB a scoring call that gave Cabrera a double in the eighth inning Thursday. If he would have been credited with a triple in his final at-bat, it would have given Cabrera the cycle. “I’m not too sure that it isn’t a triple, but I’m not positive it is either,” Francona said.
WHO: Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay
WHERE: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
PITCHERS: McAllister (3-2, 3.18 ERA) vs. Bedard (1-1, 4.35)
TV/RADIO: FS1; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM