When he gets the ball Wednesday night, Price will try to prevent the major league-best Indians from winning 15 in a row at home for the first time in 17 years.
The Indians (23-11), who were coming off a 3-3 trip, were 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position Tuesday but recorded their fourth straight home win in their final at-bat, beating the Rays (20-15) 5-4 when Tampa Bay’s Kyle Farnsworth(notes) walked Michael Brantley(notes) with the bases loaded. Brantley also homered in the fourth inning.
“We continued to go hard,” said manager Manny Acta, whose team is off to its best home start in franchise history at 14-2. “You can feel it in the dugout. They just keep saying it’s our game.”
Cleveland will now try to win 15 in a row at home for the first time since May 13-June 19, 1994.
Price (4-3, 3.26 ERA) allowed three hits in seven-plus innings of a 6-3 win July 24 that ended the Rays’ 18-game skid in Cleveland dating to 2005. It was also manager Joe Maddon’s first career victory at Progressive Field in 22 chances, including three losses with Angels.
Maddon is hoping the left-hander can help deliver another win after the Rays (20-15) saw their franchise-record eight-game road winning streak snapped Tuesday.
Price may well be up to the task, as he’s 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his last five starts. The left-hander struck out a season-high 10 and threw 8 2-3 innings of four-hit ball in Thursday’s 3-1 win over Toronto.
If Price doesn’t have good stuff, the Rays will need a better performance out of their bullpen than Tuesday, when it walked a season-high six.
In a rehab start at Akron on Friday, the right-hander went 3 2-3 innings, striking out three and walking three.
The last time Carrasco pitched at Progressive Field was also the last time the Indians lost there. He gave up a career-high seven runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings of an 8-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on April 2.
He has never faced the Rays.
Tampa Bay right-fielder Matt Joyce(notes) will try to record his fourth straight multihit game after going 2 for 4 with a double and a homer in the series opener. Joyce is batting .474 with four doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 11 contests.