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Power and good pitching carry Tribe past Rays

By PAUL HOYNES • Sep 11, 2018 at 10:47 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Power and good pitching will carry a team a long way. Even a team that seems to be stumbling toward a postseason spot that has been guaranteed them almost since opening day.

Yan Gomes and Edwin Encarnacion hit home runs and rookie Shane Bieber struck out a career high 11 batters as the Indians beat the Rays, 2-0, at Tropicana Field. The win reduced the Tribe's magic number to clinch its third straight AL Central title to three.

Gomes gave Bieber a 1-0 lead with a two-out homer in the fifth. It was his 14th homer of the season, matching his total from last season.

Encarnacion made it 2-0 with one out in the sixth. It was Encarnacion's 30th homer of the season, marking the seventh straight year in which he's hit at least 30 homers. It's the longest current streak by a player in the big leagues.

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow (1-6, 4.48) allowed both homers.

The Indians are the first AL team this season to have three players with 30 or more homers. Encarnacion joined Francisco Lindor (34) and Jose Ramirez (37). It's the fifth time it has happened in franchise history and the first since 1999 when Richie Sexson, Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome did it.

Bieber (10-3, 4.32) pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and three walks. Bieber is the fifth Indians' pitcher to win at least 10 games this season. The others are Corey Kluber (18-7), Carlos Carrasco (16-8), Trevor Bauer (12-6) and Mike Clevinger (11-8).

The Indians have 27 games this season where a pitcher has struck out 10 or more batters. It extended their club record and tied them with Houston or the MLB lead.

Josh Donaldson made his debut with the Indians. He hit two balls to the warning track and struck out in his first big league game since May 28. Donaldson ended fifth inning with a nice play at third base to retire C.J. Cron.

Bieber allowed a leadoff double to Joey Wendle in the seventh. He retired the next two batters, but walked Jake Bauers to bring Brad Hand into the game. Hand walked Nick Ciuffo to load the bases, but retired Mallex Smith to end the inning. Hand gave up a walk-off homer to Ji-Man Choi in the ninth inning on Monday night.

The pitches

Bieber threw 100 pitches, 63 (63 percent) for strikes. Glasnow threw 90 pitches, 66 (73 percent) for strikes.

He gone

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash was ejected in the eighth inning for protesting a balk lefty Vidal Nuno. Plate umpire Mark Carlson ejected Cash.

Thanks for coming

The Indians and Rays drew 10,599 to Tropicana Field on Tuesday night. First pitch was at 7:09 p.m. with a temperature 72 degrees inside and 89 degrees outside.

Up next

The Indians end their season series against the Rays at 1:10 p.m. Wednesday as Carlos Carrasco (16-8, 4.31) faces Tampa Bay left-hander Blake Snell (18-5, 2.06). SportsTime Ohio and WLKR will carry the game.

Carrasco, who already has one loss against the Rays this year, is 4-4 in his career against them. Snell beat the Indians on Sept. 1 at Progressive Field. He allowed two runs and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings.

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