Tribe head to the Trop to face the Rays
It’s hard to get overly excited by such a small sample size, but the Cleveland Indians’ Cody Anderson had a spectacular Major League debut, allowing just six hits versus these same Tampa Bay Rays on June 21. The test for a young pitcher is how things go when a team sees you for a second time. That second time comes fast as he faces off against the Rays in his first two starts.
The Indians (33-41) come off an absolutely dreadful day in which they were shut out in both ends of a doubleheader against the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles. Pitching wasn’t great, but the offense was non-existent. Anderson (0-0, 0.00) didn’t factor in the decision of his debut as the Indians came up with only one run after he exited the game (Suprised? Shouldn’t be).
Jason Kipnis had the rug pulled out from under his hot streak as he went 0-for-7 in the doubleheader. Turns out he is human. With the struggles on offense, it will be an interesting series as the Tribe will see former Indians Grady Sizemore in the Rays (42-35) lineup. After signing a minor league deal earlier this month, he’ll be a staple in this series for the Rays lineup.
Nate Karns (4-3, 3.28) gets the start for the Rays as he comes off a solid performance against the Toronto Blue Jays. He pitched six scoreless and went 5 1/3 innings without allowing a hit. He took a no-decision in the game however even with a quality start.
As if the Indians offensive struggles aren’t apparent, the Tribe managed to score just three runs against the Rays in their last series, their lowest run total in any series this season. When it rains, it pours I suppose. Anderson may need to be as effective tonight as he was in his debut to give the Tribe a chance.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field. SportsTime Ohio has the TV coverage while WMMS 100.7 and WTAM 1100 will have the radio broadcast.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s series opener: