Nate Lowe belted a two-run homer as the host Tampa Bay Rays recorded an 8-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Travis d'Arnaud drove in a pair of runs and Austin Meadows had an RBI single to highlight a three-hit performance for the Rays (80-58), who moved a half-game ahead of the Indians (79-58) in the wild-card race in the American League.
Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco received a standing ovation from both teams prior to coming on in relief in the seventh inning, marking his first game action since being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia. Carrasco, whose last appearance was May 30, retired the first two batters he faced before Tommy Pham doubled and came home on an RBI single by d'Arnaud to stake Tampa Bay to a 5-1 lead.
Jake Bauers had an RBI double in the second inning and a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the Indians, who lost six of the seven meetings against Tampa Bay this season.
Charlie Morton (14-6) picked up the win after allowing one run on four hits with eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He departed after tossing a season-high 108 pitches.
The Rays snapped a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning as Kevin Kiermaier worked a two-out walk before Lowe deposited a first-pitch fastball from Adam Plutko (6-4) over the wall in right-center field. Lowe's homer was his sixth of the season and first since he belted two in a 12-4 victory at Baltimore on July 13.
Tampa Bay claimed a 4-1 lead in the fifth after Eric Sogard scored easily on a double to right-center field by d'Arnaud. Pham, however, was ruled out at home upon review after initially being called safe.
Bauers' sacrifice fly trimmed Cleveland's deficit to three runs at 5-2 in the top of the eighth, but Mike Zunino, Sogard and Meadows put the game away with consecutive RBI singles in the bottom of the inning.
The Rays seized the early lead as Meadows ripped a one-out double in the first inning and scored on Joey Wendle's single to center.
Cleveland answered in the second inning as Mike Freeman reached on an infield single and scored in Bauers' ground-rule double to center field.
--Field Level Media