ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay's bats remained silent Saturday night. Cleveland's Mike Clevinger had a lot to do with that in the Indians' 3-0 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Clevinger blanked the Rays for seven innings on four hits and a walk while striking out nine, helping Cleveland (62-52) increase its lead atop the American League Central to 4 1/2 games over Minnesota, which lost to Detroit. Tampa Bay (59-59) fell to eight games behind AL East-leading Boston, but remained a half-game behind the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot and three behind New York for the first AL Wild Card.
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The Rays are 2-6 on the current homestand and have been shut out in five of the losses, scoring eight runs in their last eight games. Meanwhile, the Indians' offense hardly roared, but they managed to provide enough runs to get the job done.
Jay Bruce's RBI double in the first off Rays starter Chris Archer staked the Indians to a 1-0 lead. Francisco Lindor scored on an Archer wild pitch in the third, and Bruce singled home another off Archer in the sixth to build a 3-0 lead.
Archer brought into the game a streak of 15 starts in which he'd gone at least six innings. That ended when he made his exit with one out the sixth, leaving him one start shy of tying Jeff Niemann's franchise record established from April 13-July 6, 2010. Archer allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out eight en route to his seventh loss of the season.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Indians on Saturday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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