Tampa Bay entered this series with a 7-21 all-time mark at Cleveland, having never won a series at Jacobs Field. The Devil Rays used a 12-hit attack in an 8-6 win Friday and followed it up with a 14-hit effort in an 8-2 win Saturday.
Cantu was the catalyst to both wins, going 6-for-10 with three homers in the series after connecting twice Saturday. The second baseman is batting .378 (14-for-37) on the trip with 12 RBIs.
All three of Cantu’s multi-homer efforts have come this season. He has a career-high 18 homers in 424 at-bats after hitting two in 173 at-bats in 2004.
Tampa Bay is 5-6 on its 12-game trip. The Devil Rays had dropped four straight before arriving in Cleveland.
The Indians entered the series on a six-game winning streak—all on the road. The losses have dropped Cleveland to just 27-29 at home and 4 1/2 games out of the AL wild card lead.
Indians starter Cliff Lee is 3-0 with a 5.58 ERA over his last five starts. Lee was roughed up for six runs and eight hits over five innings and did not receive a decision in a 13-7 win at Kansas City on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old southpaw is 1-1 with a 3.74 ERA in three career starts against the Devil Rays. Lee is 5-2 with a 4.15 ERA in nine home starts.
Cleveland placed left-hander Arthur Rhodes, who is 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 44 appearances, on the 15-day disabled list Saturday due to right knee inflammation. Rhodes was activated off the bereavement list Friday after missing time due to a family illness and has not pitched since Aug. 2.
“He had some swelling in the knee and when you combine that with the fact he hasn’t pitched for a while, we decided to put him on the DL,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.
The Indians recalled right-hander Jeremy Guthrie from Triple-A Buffalo to take Rhodes’ place. Guthrie made his season debut Saturday and gave up four runs and nine hits over the final six innings.
Cleveland will continue to use the 26-year-old right-hander out of the bullpen. The Indians’ 2002 first-round pick went 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA over his last nine starts for Buffalo.