Getty Images: Matt Sullivan
The Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays will try to muster what energy they have left on Saturday after battling into Friday morning in the opener of this series.
Three separate rain delays resulted in nearly five hours of halted play at Progressive Field on Friday night.
After the game resumed for the final time in the bottom of the second inning at 12:13 a.m. EDT it was all Rays. James Loney went 2-forf-5 with a pair of home runs and three RBI and Matt Joyce launched a two-run home run of his own to carry them to a 9-2 victory.
Matt Moore remained undefeated but pitched just a single scoreless inning before being shelved as the rain delay wore on. Jamey Wright pitched three scoreless innings after the rain delay to earn the victory and Cesar Ramos pitched three scoreless innings to earn his first save of his career.
The Rays have now tied a season-high with six-straight wins.
Corey Kluber made it threw a pair of scoreless innings before also being shut down due to the lengthy delay. Scott Barnes was the first pitcher to appear for the Indians after the delay and was lit up for five runs in just one inning to take the loss.
The Indians had just a single hit in the game, an RBI double from Ryan Raburn. Cleveland had won back-to-back games entering the weekend.
In the same week that rookie Alex Colome made his first major league start, the Rays will bring up another youngster from the minors to start Saturday in Chris Archer,
The 24-year-old right-hander won't be making his debut in the big show as he pitched in six games last season. In those outings, four of which were starts, Archer collected a 1-3 record to go with a 4.60 ERA while striking out 36 batters in 29 1/3 innings.
Archer has spent the beginning of this season at Triple-A Durham. While with the Bulls Archer has a 3.96 ERA in 50 innings of work. His ability to compile strikeouts has also been on display as he has 52 strikeouts to just 23 walks in that span.
Though he has pitched at the major league level before, Archer has never pitched against the Indians. His only outing against an American League Central squad was actually his last appearance for the Rays. Archer will not want to replicate his performance in that contest against the Chicago White Sox, an outing that saw him allow four runs in two innings of relief work against the White Sox.
Opposing Archer will be Ubaldo Jimenez who gets the ball from Terry Francona.
Jimenez has been a bit of enigma yet again this season with some starts where he has looked very strong and others where he has struggled to get outs. His most recent start was of the former category as he allowed a pair f runs over seven innings while striking out six batters. The Indians still lost, 4-2, to Cincinnati in the contest but Cleveland is 6-4 overall this season when Jimenez makes the start.
All in all Jimenez is 3-3 with a 5.57 ERA this season in 10 starts. He is on pace to have an ERA over 5.00 for the second straight season. Jimenez has still managed to pile up the strikeouts though as he is striking out just over one batter per inning with 53 punch-outs in 51 2/3 innings this year.
When going up against Tampa Bay Jimenez has been solid in his career, though there isn't a huge sample size. Jimenez has made three career starts against the Rays and is 2-1 with a 3.93 ERA against them. This will be his first start of the season against the Rays.
This series marks the last between these two clubs this season. Last year they split a total of eight meetings. Tampa Bay leads this season's series by a 3-1 margin after taking two of three at home from April 5-7.
The Sports Network