CLEVELAND (AP) — A long night at the ballpark left the Cleveland Indians weary and drenched.
A solution, however, was easy to find.
“Everybody’s tired,” joked Indians manager Terry Francona. “It’s amazing…show up, have 12 pieces of bacon and a Red Bull and go get ‘em.”
While the pregame meal may have played a factor in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Tampa Bay, the Indians found other reasons that led to their success. Ubaldo Jimenez pitched eight scoreless innings while Jason Giambi and Asdrubal Cabrera hit two-run homers in the game that began about 10 hours following the conclusion of Friday night’s contest that ended at 2:53 a.m. on Saturday after nearly five hours of rain delays.
Despite his big day, which included and RBI single in the third, Giambi admitted he was exhausted.
“I’m delirious right now,” he said. “I feel like Pinocchio with no strings. My last two at-bats I thought about bunting because of the bat speed that I have, but then I said, I have to run. I was done.”
Jimenez (4-3) gave the Indians exactly what they needed. The right-hander allowed four hits and struck out seven in stopping Tampa Bay’s six-game winning streak. The Rays, who rolled to a 9-2 win earlier Saturday morning, had only two runners reach second base.
“On a day where the only two people probably out there who weren’t tired were the starting pitchers, he gave us every bit what we needed,” Francona said.
Giambi homered in his third straight game to give the Indians a 2-0 lead in the second. He added an RBI single in third while Cabrera’s two-run blast came in the fifth.
Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer (0-1), called up from Triple A-Durham before the game, allowed five runs in four innings. He faced three batters in the fifth and was pulled after Nick Swisher lined a single off his glove following Cabrera’s home run. The force of the blow knocked Archer to the ground. He was uninjured but was removed by manager Joe Maddon.
No one could blame either team for feeling tired after a long night at the ballpark Friday when three rain delays totaling 4:49 pushed a game that began on the last day of May into the early hours of the first day in June. Neither team took batting practice on the field Saturday for the game that began at 1:05 p.m.
“It’s part of the job,” Swisher said. “It’s what we get paid to do. We were here early this morning. Guys were pumped up. We had the music blasting. We needed a win like this, especially with the way early this morning ended.”
Maddon admitted his team was dragging a bit.
“Our guys legitimately were tired today and I don’t blame them,” he said. “I really respected their effort today. It was a tough day to come back and play this game. We’ll get a good night’s sleep and come back and do well tomorrow.”
Jimenez, winning for the first time since May 11, came within three outs of his fourth career complete game shutout and first since 2011 while pitching for Colorado. Desmond Jennings’ seventh-inning double was the only hit he allowed that left the infield. The only walk Jimenez, who threw 108 pitches, gave up was to Matt Joyce leading off the game.
“I felt really good,” said Jimenez, who had his longest outing of the season. “The guys had a crazy game last night after waiting for so long to play.”
“The biggest guy was Ubaldo,” Giambi said. “He was the guy who made it all happen.”
Vinnie Pestano pitched the ninth for Cleveland’s eighth shutout of the season.
After being held to one hit by four pitchers in Friday’s marathon, the Indians woke up against Archer. Swisher drew a leadoff walk in the second before Giambi homered to right on a 2-1 pitch. The veteran slugger also hit a pinch-hit home run Monday against Cincinnati and added a three-run homer against the Reds on Wednesday.
The 42-year-old Giambi, signed to a minor league contract in February, singled home Jason Kipnis in the third. Kipnis started the rally with a one-out double. Giambi has five homers and 19 RBIs in 69 at-bats for the season.
Kipnis also started the fifth-inning rally with a leadoff single and scored when Cabrera hit an 0-1 pitch to right for his fifth homer of the season.
Archer, the Indians’ fifth-round selection in 2006, gave up seven hits, struck out four and walked three.
NOTES: Friday’s lengthy game forced both teams to makes roster moves with their pitching staffs. The Indians optioned LHP Scott Barnes to Triple-A Columbus and recalled RHP Ryan Langewell from Columbus. Barnes was the losing pitcher Friday, allowing five runs in one inning. … The Rays optioned LHP Jeff Beliveau to Durham to open a roster spot for Archer. RHP Josh Lueke, who pitched two innings Friday, was also optioned to Durham while LHP Alex Torres was recalled from the same club. Torres allowed one hit in four scoreless innings Saturday. … Friday’s one-hitter was the 10th in Rays’ history and the second involving four or more pitchers. … Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore, who started Friday’s game but only pitched the first inning because of the rain delays, is scheduled to start Thursday in Detroit but that could be pushed up a day or two. … Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-2) is scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale against RHP Zach McAllister (4-4).