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05/27/09 12:18 AM ET
Rays drop 15th straight in Cleveland
Tampa Bay pitching allows four homers in rain-soaked loss
By Steve Herrick / Special to MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- There's something about playing in Cleveland the Rays don't like. The Rays dropped their 15th straight game at Progressive Field on Tuesday night, a 5-1 decision to the Indians. Tampa Bay, which couldn't hold a 10-0 lead and gave up seven runs in the ninth inning to lose, 11-10, on Monday night, hasn't won in Cleveland since Sept. 28, 2005. The game was delayed by rain for 32 minutes before the bottom of the fourth began. A steady rain fell throughout the final four innings. "I think everybody is tired a little bit," said right fielder Ben Zobrist, who doubled in the second. "It's been a long stretch for us. It was kind of nasty out there tonight. We've had guys going on the DL. We have to push through this and fight through it." The Rays' pitchers couldn't keep the ball in the park. Starter Matt Garza gave up three homers while reliever Randy Choate allowed one. "I think they took advantage of my pitches," Garza said. "It stinks. I have to tip my cap to those guys. They beat me." "I thought Matt threw the ball well, but he gave up a couple of homers," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "They hit them in the seats." Other than Carlos Pena's solo homer in the seventh, his 16th of the season, the Rays didn't do much with Indians starter Carl Pavano. "We couldn't get anything rolling," Maddon said. Homers accounted for all the runs Garza gave up. The right-hander allowed solo homers to Ryan Garko in the second and to Asdrubal Cabrera in the third. Mark DeRosa added a two-run homer in the sixth. Garko's homer came with one out in the second on the first pitch, clearing the wall in right-center. "The pitch to Garko was a fastball in," Garza said. "I felt it was a good pitch; I don't know how he hit it to the opposite field." Cabrera homered with two down in the third. Garza didn't allow another run until two outs in the sixth. He hit Garko with a pitch before DeRosa hit the first pitch to right-center for the third home run. "The [hit-by-pitch] hurt," Garza said. "I threw the next pitch inside and I paid for it. I was living on the inside but he got it." Garza hadn't allowed a home run to a right-handed hitter this season until the homers by Garko and DeRosa. Garza (4-3) allowed four runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out seven and threw 106 pitches. Choate gave up a solo homer to Shoppach in the seventh. Pavano held the Rays to four hits in seven innings. "He kept the ball down," Zobrist said. "He moved it in and out. He had a good changeup. We couldn't get anything going."
Steve Herrick is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.