The 23-year-old lefty has won all of his starts against the Devil Rays, posting a 4-0 record with a 3.10 ERA. Last season, Sabathia pitched one of his two complete games against the Devil Rays in a 1-0 win on Aug. 15. He allowed four hits while striking out nine.
Although he’s allowed just seven runs over 20 2-3 innings in his last three starts, Sabathia is 0-1 over the stretch. In his last outing, a 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, Sabathia allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings, but didn’t receive a decision.
Since snapping a season-high five-game losing streak, the Indians have won three straight and won four of five, including Saturday’s 9-7 victory.
Victor Martinez drove in a career-high five runs as the Devil Rays lost their seventh straight road game.
Martinez hit a three-run double in a four-run second inning, doubled in another run in the third and added a sacrifice fly. The switch-hitting catcher has 18 RBIs in 11 games since being moved into the cleanup spot.
“It’s just another spot in the lineup,” said Martinez, batting .270 with six homers and 27 RBIs overall. “Whether I am hitting fourth, seventh or eighth, I try to put a swing on the ball. Then anything can happen.”
The Devil Rays are a league-worst 3-16 on the road. Tampa Bay has lost 11 straight road series since taking two of three games in Seattle from Aug. 26-28. Since the start of last season, Tampa Bay is 30-70 on the road.
“The amazing thing is we’re starting to swing the bats better and now we’re having problems on the pitching side,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “The only other thing that can go wrong once we start hitting and pitching together is our fielding.”