Tampa Bay Rays: Joey Butler Stops No-Hitter

By Robbie Knopf

Thankfully, the third time wasn’t quite the charm for the Cleveland Indians. After taking no-hit bids through 6.1 innings on Monday and 5.2 on Tuesday, the Indians got as far as 8.2 on Wednesday with Carlos Carrasco on the mound. Joey Butler, who had broken up the perfect game bid with a walk in the seventh, singled with two outs in the ninth and scored Asdrubal Cabrera, who had reached on a walk of his own. Brandon Guyer was also hit by a Carrasco pitch in the ninth for the Rays’ only other baserunner.

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I first thought that this game was going against the Tampa Bay Rays in the top of the third inning–yes, Carrasco wasn’t even pitching at the time. The Rays were already trailing 2-0 when Alex Colome allowed three straight groundball singles. None of them were hit particularly hard, but all of them found holes and it was a 3-0 game. After a sac fly, it was 4-0. It clearly was not the Rays’ day. Colome wound up saving the Rays’ bullpen in a big way in the loss, going 7 innings even as he allowed 5 runs. Of course, the Rays’ would have much rather seen him go five innings and left with a lead–their top relievers are well rested anyway.

The other moment in the game that made me wince–aside from every single strikeout and most of the batted balls form Rays hitters–came right after the Butler walk in the seventh. The count was 2-1 on Evan Longoria after a fastball for a ball, and–I kid you not–I was thinking “The slider is coming, Longoria better make the adjustment and take it the other way.” The slider did come and Longoria did hit it to the opposite field, but right to first baseman Carlos Santana to start a 3-6-3 double play. Ouch.

Also notable from the game was C.J. Riefenhauser getting lit up in his 0.2 innings before Preston Guilmet tossed 1.1 perfect frames to end the game. Riefenhauser has better stuff than Guilmet, but if those results mean anything, Guilmet may stick around for a little longer before being sent down to accommodate John Jaso on the 25-man roster. Marc Krauss was sent down to make room for Matt Moore on the the active roster for tomorrow’s game, where hopefully he can start the Rays’ turnaround. Either Krauss or Guilmet will be DFA’d to make room for Jaso on the 40-man.

Moore will start for the Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow against, amusingly enough, the best Cleveland Indians pitcher of all, Corey Kluber. The game will start at 12:10 PM EST.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays: What Is the Final Plan for the Roster?