Charlie Morton struck out a season-high 10 and Ji-Man Choi and Tommy Pham hit two-run homers Saturday night, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in a game delayed for nearly three hours because of an incorrect weather forecast.
Morton (5-0) extended his unbeaten streak to a career-best 18 starts dating back to last August 17 with Houston, allowing one run and three hits in six innings. The right-hander has an 8-0 record with a 3.10 ERA in that stretch.
Choi’s two-out, opposite-field shot to left gave the Rays a 3-1 lead in the fifth, while Pham extended it to 6-1 with a blast to center in the seventh. Brandon Lowe added a solo home run in the sixth off Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (4-5).
The first pitch was postponed from 4:10 until 6:58 because of expected thunderstorms that never materialized. The conditions remained dry and warm throughout the delay, except for a several-minute spell of light rain.
Avisaíl García had two hits and a stolen base for the Rays, who are in the midst of playing 34 games in 34 days through June 23. Pham upped his hitting streak to 11 and Lowe had two RBIs.
Carrasco lost his second straight start, giving up six runs — five earned — in 6 1/3 innings. The righty struck out six and has surrendered nine homers in five May outings.
Carlos Santana went 2 for 4 with a homer and double for Cleveland, which has lost five of six and fell to 4-6 on its season-high 11-game homestand.
Indians manager Terry Francona was ejected in the sixth by third base umpire Eric Cooper for arguing that José Ramírez did not swing at a pitch that hit him. It was his first ejection since 2016.
The Indians recalled LF Greg Allen and selected the contract of LHP Josh D. Smith from Triple-A Columbus. RHP Adam Plutko and C Eric Haase were optioned to the Clippers. The 29-year-old Smith made his big league debut with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Francona said Allen’s stay could be brief as Cleveland needs a starting pitcher Tuesday in Boston.
Rays: 3B Matt Duffy (left hamstring tightness) has not returned to his rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham since aggravating his injury Wednesday at Norfolk.
Indians: OF Tyler Naquin (left calf strain), who has been on the 10-day injured list since May 11, ran the bases without any issues Friday at Progressive Field.
Rays: Tampa Bay has not named a starter for the four-game series finale Sunday. RHP Hunter Wood (1-1, 0.00 ERA) served as the opener in the last turn in the rotation.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (4-3, 3.95 ERA) takes on Tampa Bay for the first time since June 22, 2016. In five home appearances this season, he is 1-2 with a 6.14 ERA.