|Road-warrior Rays eye strong finish vs. Indians|
The Tampa Bay Rays are making themselves at home on the road, while the Cleveland Indians are limping toward the end of their season-high 11-game stretch at Progressive Field.
Owners of a 17-8 mark away from home, the visiting Rays aim to defeat the Indians for the third time in the four-game series when it concludes on Sunday afternoon.
Tommy Pham joined Ji-Man Choi by belting a two-run homer in Saturday's 6-2 victory over Cleveland.
Pham, who has recorded an extra-base hit in a career-high six consecutive contests, is batting .311 (14-for-45) with three homers and six RBIs during his 11-game hitting streak.
"They are looking for fastballs out over the plate, and they take some pretty healthy swings at them," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the Rays.
Rookie Brandon Lowe recorded his 15th multi-hit performance with his team-leading 11th homer and an RBI double, marking his fourth game with multiple extra-base hits.
Lowe welcomed Saturday's power surge considering he was just 8-for-39 in his previous 11 games.
"This is not normal for me," the 24-year-old Lowe said of his cold streak, per the Tampa Bay Times. "I'm not very happy with my performance. I'm watching video. I'm doing extra work in the cage. I'm doing what I can to improve and not have this happen."
Rays manager Kevin Cash credited Lowe's ability to bounce back from less-than-desirable performances, especially Friday's effort in which he went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
"Brandon is as good as anyone at staying consistent with his mind," Cash said. "... He knows he's a good hitter. He knows when he gets some good pitches to hit, more times than not he's caught them this year."
Avisail Garcia, who is riding a five-game hitting streak, posted his 12th multi-hit performance with a pair of singles on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Garcia is batting .338 (23-for-68) with five home runs and 12 RBIs in May and is hitting .321 (9-for-28) with two homers and five RBIs against Cleveland's Sunday starter, Trevor Bauer (4-3, 3.95 ERA).
Bauer fell to 0-2 in his last four starts after allowing four runs on as many hits in six innings of a 5-3 setback against Oakland on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old right-hander, who tossed a season-high 123 pitches versus the Athletics, has surrendered five homers in that stretch and walked four batters in back-to-back outings.
Bauer sports a 1-1 mark with a 2.40 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in three career appearances (two starts) versus Tampa Bay. On Sunday, he will face them for the first time since June 22, 2016.
The Rays will send right-hander Ryne Stanek to the mound for the second time this series. The 27-year-old struck out one of the two batters he faced in relief of Ryan Yarbrough in Thursday's 7-2 win.
Stanek has permitted two runs on as many hits in 2 1/3 innings in four career relief appearances against Cleveland.
The Indians, who have lost five of six overall, have recorded three or fewer runs in 27 of their first 51 games, going 7-20 in those contests.
--Field Level Media