Rays 6, Indians 0

The SportsXchange

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Alex Cobb pitched seven-plus innings of scoreless baseball and Kelly Johnson hit his first home run with the Rays, leading Tampa Bay to a 6-0 victory and second straight shutout against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.

Cobb (1-0) held Cleveland to four hits, and the Rays (3-2) took advantage of control problems from Indians starter Trevor Bauer, who opened the game with four straight walks. The Rays came through for a Tropicana Field crowd of 32,217 on David Price Cy Young figurine night.

It was Cobb who looked masterful, striking out six and picking up where he left off in 2012. The right-hander went 7-1 with a 3.09 ERA in his final 11 starts last season.

Rays pitchers held the Indians (2-3) to two hits in Friday's 4-0 win, with Matt Moore throwing six shutout innings.

For all their walks, the Rays didn't get a hit until the fourth inning, when Jose Molina singled. Then Johnson crushed a pitch over the right-field wall for his first home run. The Rays could have scored much more, having had the bases loaded four times in the first seven innings.

James Loney got that elusive clutch hit in the eighth with a two-out, two-run double for the final margin.

Cleveland was shut out in back-to-back games just once in 2012, against Oakland on August 27-28. The Rays did it once last season (July 28-29 vs. Angels), but before that, hadn't done it since May 2008.

Bauer, called up for his Indians debut in place of injured Scott Kazmir, got himself in trouble in the first, walking the bases loaded before facing the Rays' Evan Longoria with no outs. Longoria fouled off three two-strike pitches before taking a bases-loaded walk for a 1-0 lead.

After 27 pitches and no outs, Bauer ended the damage there, getting James Loney to pop out in foul territory and then having Yunel Escobar hit a line drive to right that Ryan Raburn threw home to nail Matt Joyce at the plate for an inning-ending double play.

The Rays had another out at home in the third, this with no outs, as Desmond Jennings walked and stole second and third but was thrown out trying to score on a chopper to third. Jennings collided hard with Indians catcher Lou Marson, who held onto the ball for the out.

Bauer had three walks in the third but escaped again as Escobar, up with the bases loaded, struck out to end the inning and keep the game at 1-0. Even with the control issues, Bauer hadn't allowed a hit until the fourth when Molina singled and two pitches later Johnson crushed his first home run of 2013 down the right-field line for a 3-0 lead.

NOTES: Kazmir, who strained a muscle in his rib cage this week, was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday. ... Bauer was acquired by Cleveland in December in a three-team deal that send Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati and prospects to the Diamondbacks. ... Much-heralded Rays prospect Wil Myers, acquired from the Royals in the James Shield trade, made his debut with triple-A Durham on Friday night, going 1 for 4 with two RBIs.
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