Rays make pupil of Masterson to even series

Rays make pupil of Masterson to even series

Rays make pupil of Masterson to even series
CLEVELAND -- Finally, the Rays got what they needed Friday night with a laugher.

The Rays' much-maligned offense busted loose in a 10-3 win over the Indians -- a rout that even included a hit for Luke Scott, who broke an 0-for-41 slump with a two-run homer.

"It was great to score the runs, but still, Cleveland in Cleveland is never comfortable," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's not a comfortable place. You've seen us blow leads here in the past. As a member of the Angels, I've seen it done also. There's something about the joint that really promotes late-inning rallies on their part, so I was not comfortable until the last out was made, quite frankly."

By winning, the Rays moved to 44-40 on the season to remain seven games behind the first-place Yankees, who defeated the Red Sox 10-8 Friday night. The Rays improved to 4-0 when scoring 10 or more runs this season, with three of those four victories coming on the road. Meanwhile, the Indians allowed 10 or more runs for the sixth time this season, falling to 0-6 in those contests.

Ben Zobrist got things started for the Rays with a two-run homer in the first. The Indians quickly tied the score in the bottom half of the inning, aided by a balk by Rays starter Alex Cobb that allowed Asdrubal Cabrera to score from third to tie the game.

"Just a mental mistake, really just not focusing," Cobb said. "That's a possibility that the runner's going to do that. It just caught me off guard, there's really no excuse for it."

Cobb did not allow the balk to get to him, as he added three scoreless frames to his line before the Indians pushed across their third run of the game via a Shin-Soo Choo RBI single in the fifth.

By then, the Rays had pretty much salted away the game, having already scored 10 runs.

Jose Lobaton singled home two in the third to give the Rays a 4-2 lead before they took control of the game with a six-run fifth led by Scott's two-run homer.

"I was just trying to be friendly," said Masterson, trying to be facetious. "I saw Luke Scott was struggling quite a bit. So I figured: 'What the heck, let's give him an opportunity to get out of that.' I mean, he's a good guy. We don't want any trouble. I gave him a nice pitch to hit. It's just people helping people. I'm a giving individual."

The six runs in the fifth matched the Rays' highest run total for a single inning this season. They also turned the trick on April 18 and May 14 in games that took place in Toronto.

Rays hitters had 13 hits and walked eight times -- four were issued by Masterson, who took his eighth loss of the season.

"Obviously, Masterson was not on top of his game," Maddon said. "Usually, this guy is really, really good. We took advantage of a little bit of his wildness and it benefited us, because he's pretty good. It was not his best night and we did a nice job."

Masterson lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his second-shortest outing of the season.

"In order for us to beat those guys, we need to pitch, and we need to pitch good," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "If there's one thing they're gonna do, it's pitch well. They're gonna come out every day and throw a starter at you that's going to keep you to a few runs."

Cobb held the Indians to three runs on six hits to pick up his fourth win of the season. The right-hander credited pitching coach Jim Hickey for helping him work his way out of an early funk with his mechanics.

"Hickey noticed a couple of things I was doing with my mechanics," Cobb said. "... He settled me down after the inning. Kind of told me what I was doing, made it a lot easier to go out there ... clicked in the next inning. Saw the video and noticed that my pitches were flat and over exaggerated."

Cobb has worked six-plus inning in five of his last six games and in six of his nine starts overall this season.

Kyle Farnsworth, Wade Davis and Burke Badenhop finished out the game for the Rays, holding the Indians scoreless for the final three frames.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.