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MLB: Five Rays pitchers hold Indians hitless to sweep doubleheader

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Five Tampa Bay pitchers held Cleveland without a hit in the seven-inning nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader, and the Rays completed the twin-bill sweep with a 4-0 victory at St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Rays extended the visiting Indians’ season-high losing streak to nine games.

Colin McHugh opened Game 2 by striking out three over two perfect innings. Josh Fleming (7-4) then allowed Oscar Mercado to reach on an error — when Tampa infielders Wander Franco and Taylor Walls collided on a grounder to short — in the third and a walk in the fifth during his 2 2/3 frames. Diego Castillo retired the only batter he faced in the fifth and Matt Wisler walked a man while striking out two in the sixth.

Pete Fairbanks fanned one while retiring the side in order in the seventh for the Rays, who have won 19 of their last 23 home games.

Since this was a seven-inning contest under the current doubleheader format, it does not officially count as a no-hitter, according to Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball. Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner did not allow a hit in the seven-inning nightcap of a doubleheader at Atlanta on April 25, but that effort was not recognized as an official no-hitter.

“That’s tough to do,” Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters. “Seven innings, nine innings, it’s very tough to do.

“If MLB has come out and said we’re not going to honor it, then I think that’s what we go with,” Cash added. “We can still appreciate it and certainly celebrate that the guys pitched really, really well.”

Cleveland, which managed just four hits while losing 8-1 in Wednesday’s doubleheader opener and is mired in its longest single-season skid since 2012, has now gone hitless in a game three times this season. The Indians were officially no-hit by Carlos Rodon of the Chicago White Sox on April 14 and May 7, by Cincinnati’s Wade Miley.

Walls delivered a pair of RBI singles and Yandy Diaz drove home two with a fifth-inning single for the Rays, who have won eight in a row over the Indians.

Cleveland’s Sam Hentges (1-4) allowed four runs, five hits, walked three and struck out three over 4 1/3 innings in losing his third consecutive start.

–Field Level Media

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