Indians Blank Rays, 3-0

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Corey Dickerson to complete a double play that started with a grounder to first by Lucas Duda during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Both teams are wearing throwback jerseys. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Corey Dickerson to complete a double play that started with a grounder to first by Lucas Duda during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Both teams are wearing throwback jerseys. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — An 11-day break between starts proved to be just what Mike Clevinger needed. That and a start against the struggling Tampa Bay Rays.

Jay Bruce drove in his first two runs for the Cleveland Indians and Clevinger struck out nine in seven innings Saturday night in a 3-0 victory over the Rays.

Clevinger (6-4) won for the first time in four starts since the All-Star break, giving up four hits and one walk in seven innings. The Indians chose to skip his turn in the rotation twice since back-to-back bad starts against the Angels and Red Sox in late July.

“It wasn’t really like a banishment, it was kind like a breather,” said Clevinger, who pitched one inning of relief six days ago. “I just tried to take advantage of the time to find out where I was going wrong in those two starts.

“I might have been thinking too much internally, and there wasn’t a lot of external focus at the plate.”

Manager Terry Francona said Clevinger’s start was “so encouraging. We only got three (runs) and it looked like enough because of the way he pitched.”

Three runs have been more than enough to beat the struggling Rays, who were shut out for the fifth time in eight days, all at home. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Rays are the first team to be shut out five times in one home stand since the 1955 Baltimore Orioles.

It was 10th time the Rays were shut out this season, most in the majors.

“I don’t have an explanation. We’re in an offensive funk,” said manager Kevin Cash, who was asked if he is considering a lineup change.

“What would I do, take all nine of them out?” Cash said. “We’re playing the lineup that we feel gives us the best chance to win right now and sometimes you’ve got to see it through some of these struggles.”

Bruce, acquired in a trade from the New York Mets on Wednesday night, drove in the first run with a two-out fly ball that dropped for a double between left fielder Corey Dickerson and third baseman Trevor Plouffe in the first inning.

After leading off the third with a double, Francisco Lindor scored on Chris Archer’s two-out wild pitch to make it 2-0.

Bruce drove in another run with a single in the fifth after Jose Ramirez’s leadoff double.

Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his 20th save, the fourth straight season he has reached that number.

Archer (8-7) gave up three runs and seven hits while striking out eight in 5 1/3 innings, ending his streak of 15 straight starts in which he pitched at least six innings.

Tigers 12, Twins 11

DETROIT (AP) — Justin Upton hit a two-run homer off Matt Belisle in the ninth inning, giving Detroit a win after the Tigers wasted a five-run lead and then overcame a five-run deficit.

Detroit had been 0-54 this year when trailing after eight innings and had lost six of seven but rallied to stop the Twins’ six-game winning streak.

Red Sox 10, Yankees 5

NEW YORK (AP) — Rookie Andrew Benintendi rocketed a pair of three-run homers off All-Star Luis Severino and the Boston Red Sox bounced back from a tough loss, roughing up the New York Yankees.

A day after blowing a late lead, the AL East leaders battered Severino for a career-worst 10 runs. Drew Pomeranz pitched the Red Sox to their ninth win in 10 games, and restored their 4-game lead over New York.

Royals 5, White Sox 4

CHICAGO (AP) — Melky Cabrera hit a go-ahead, two-run homer against his former team in the eighth inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox to stop a five-game losing streak.

Cabrera, acquired from Kansas City on July 30, homered with one out off Aaron Bummer (1-3) and drove in Lorenzo Cain, who led off the inning with a walk and Chris Beck. Cabrera has an eight-game hitting streak.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Cardinals 6, Braves 5

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong homered and the St. Louis Cardinals stretched their winning streak to eight games.

Carlos Martinez (9-9) tossed six solid innings and also drove in a run for the Cardinals, who moved within 1/2 game of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

Brandon Phillips homered for Atlanta, which lost its fifth in a row.

Marlins 4, Rockies 3

MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton continued his power surge with his 41st homer and drove in three runs in the Miami Marlins’ victory against Colorado.

Stanton went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and is hitting .382 (13 for 34) with eight home runs and 15 RBIs in his last nine games. He needs one home run to tie Gary Sheffield for the Marlins’ single-season mark set in 1996.

Brewers 6

Reds 5, 10 innings

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Sogard scampered home with the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers snapped a six-game losing streak.

Sogard started the rally with a one-out double off Reds reliever Tim Adleman (5-10). After Manny Pina flew out to center field, Jesus Aguilar and Eric Thames drew walks to load the bases.

An 0-2 curveball then bounced away from Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart, allowing Sogard to slide in just ahead of Adleman’s tag attempt.

The Brewers have won three times in their last at-bat this season, two of which have come on wild pitches.

Josh Hader pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the Brewers before giving way to Corey Knebel (1-2) for the ninth and 10th.

Phillies 3, Mets 1

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaron Nola held an opponent to two runs or fewer for his 10th straight start, Freddy Galvis had a go-ahead single during a fifth-inning rally and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the veteran-shedding New York Mets.

Diamondbacks 6, Cubs 2

PHOENIX (AP) — Patrick Corbin pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, David Peralta hit an inside-the-park home run and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Cubs, cutting Chicago’s NL Central lead over St. Louis to a percentage point.

Jon Lester (8-7) allowed four runs — three earned — and seven hits in six innings as the Cubs lost their third straight and for the seventh time in nine games.

Chicago led the division by 5¢ games before play on Aug. 2, but the Cardinals have closed with eight straight victories, their longest winning streak in two years.

Corbin (9-11) allowed five hits and struck out eight. He escaped trouble in the opening inning when Ian Happ hit an inning-ending groundout with runners at the corners.

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