CLEVELAND (AP) — Taylor Walls drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth as the Tampa Bay Rays salvaged their series finale against the Guardians with a 6-2 victory Sunday; Cleveland missed an opportunity to gain ground on Minnesota in the AL Central.
Walls lined out to right off Trevor Stephan (6-5), who drove in Jose Sirí, who swept headfirst off rookie catcher Bo Naylor’s bunt. Sirí walked with balls with two out and stole second to leave the table served for Walls.
Rene Pinto hit a two-run homer for the Rays, who added three more runs in the ninth off Cleveland’s relief of Eli Morgan.
The Guardians had just five hits and are still five games behind the industry-leading Twins, and time is running out. Minnesota, which lost 6-5 at Texas, opens a critical three-game series at Progressive Field beginning Monday.
Tampa Bay reliever Colin Poche (10-3) won, and Pete Fairbanks snuffed out a Cleveland threat with two outs in the ninth for 19 saves.
Panamanian Christian Bethancourt was 1-1 for the Rays, with a run scored. Venezuelan René Pinto 2-1, with one scored and two produced. The Mexicans Jonathan Aranda 1-1; Isaac Paredes 5-1, with an RBI. The Mexican-Cuban Randy Arozarena is 5-1 with an RBI. Cuban Yandy Díaz 4-1, with a run scored. The Dominican José Sirí 4-0, with a run scored. Colombian Harold Ramirez
For the Guardians, the Venezuelan Gabriel Arias 4-2. Dominicans Ramón Laureano 3-1 with an RBI; Jose Ramirez 4-0; Jose Tena 2-0.