2019-09-01 12:10:00 EDT
The Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays meet in the finale of their three game set in MLB action from Tropicana Field on Sunday.
The Cleveland Indians will look to salvage a win and avoid the sweep after dropping the first two games of the series following a 9-6 loss in game two on Saturday. Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Greg Allen each had two hits and two RBIs to make up Cleveland’s scoring as a team in the loss, with Lindor and Santana homering while Santana added a double as did Allen. Franmil Reyes went 3 for 4 at the dish while Yu Chang and Oscar Mercado each contributed a base hit in the losing effort. Zach Plesac took the loss, falling to 7-5 on the year after allowing four runs on six hits while striking out four over five innings of work. Adam Plutko will start game three and is 6-3 with a 4.34 ERA and 56 strikeouts this season. This will be Plutko’s second career start against Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Rays will look to complete the sweep after a victory in game two on Saturday. Tommy Pham and Avisail Garcia each went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs while Eric Sogard, Travis D’Arnaud, Ji-Man Choi and Matt Duffy each had an RBI with D’Arnaud and Choi each belting a solo home run. Joey Wendle chipped in a double to finish off Tampa Bay’s scoring as a team in the victory. Jalen Beeks got the win to improve to 6-3 on the year in relief while Emilio Pagan closed things out for his 16th save of the year. Charlie Morton will start game three and is 13-6 with a 3.11 ERA and 201 strikeouts this season. In his career, Morton is 3-2 with a 3.26 ERA and 31 strikeouts against Cleveland.
Cleveland is 19-9 in their last 28 road games and 12-4 in Plutko’s last 16 starts while the under is 5-2 in Plutko’s last 7 starts. Tampa Bay is 6-2 in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record and 5-2 in Morton’s last 7 starts against the AL Central while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 home games. Cleveland is 1-5 in the last 6 meetings between these two teams.
The plus money with Cleveland is tempting given how well the Tribe have played over the last month or so, but they’ve been outclassed by Tampa Bay in the first two games of the series, and sending Plutko to the mound probably won’t help matters, as he has a 4.50 ERA on the road and Tampa Bay got to him for seven runs in 5.1 innings earlier this season and that start came at home. Morton’s been one of Tampa Bay’s more consistent starters and the Rays need to keep building wins to keep themselves in the hunt in the final month of the season. I’ll side with Tampa Bay for the sweep here even if the price isn’t pretty.