The Indians loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning but couldn’t break through for a run. They had runners at first and third with no outs in the fifth inning but yet again came up empty.
Wasted chances has been the theme so far for host Cleveland in this American League Wild Card Game.
The Rays scored one run in the third inning on a Delmon Young solo shot and two runs in the fourth inning with a two-out Desmond Jennings double. Indians starter Danny Salazar was lifted in the fifth. Rays starter Alex Cobb has thrown six scoreless.
Tampa Bay leads 3-0 as the bottom of the seventh gets underway at Progressive Field.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.