St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nyjer Morgan went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBI and his first homer since 2012 and the Cleveland Indians beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Sunday.
"We were looking for a way to get him in there today and I'm glad we did," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Yan Gomes also homered for Cleveland in the rubber match of the three-game set at Tropicana Field. Michael Bourn drove in a pair to help Josh Tomlin (2-0) pick up his second win in as many starts this season. Tomlin allowed two runs on six hits over six strong innings.
The Indians have won five of their last six games.
Chris Archer (2-2) took the loss after laboring through five-plus innings, yielding four runs on eight hits with four walks.
Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria had two hits apiece for Tampa, with Joyce belting his third home run of the season. Ben Zobrist scored twice in the setback.
"We're not playing the caliber of baseball right now that is a winning caliber of baseball," Longoria said.
Joyce's no-doubter to right-center field in the bottom of the first made it 1-0 in favor of the home team.
Andrubal Cabrera drew a one-out walk in the top of the second and Gomes singled to put runners on the corners. Morgan then made contact on a check swing, dribbling the ball down the third-base line. Cabrera broke for home and realizing he had no play at first to get the speedy Morgan, Archer let the ball roll hoping it would trickle into foul territory. It died two inches from the third base line, and all runners were safe.
Bourn then slapped a double over Wil Myers' head in right, plating two more runs.
Joyce again came through for Tampa in the fourth, lacing a liner into right field for an RBI single to pull the hosts to within 3-2, but two more Cleveland runs two innings later padded the visitors' cushion.
Gomes started the sixth with a homer to left, chasing Archer from the contest. Morgan greeted reliever Brad Boxberger with a bunt single, moved to second on a balk and third on a wild pitch. Mike Aviles plated him with a sacrifice to center.
Morgan's eighth-inning homer made it 6-2, but a late rally by the Rays made things interesting.
Marc Rzepczynski, who struck out pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe to end the seventh inning, walked Zobrist to start the eighth. After Joyce whiffed, Longoria singled and Zobrist scored as James Loney grounded into a fielder's choice.
Cody Allen took over for Rzepczynski and served up a Myers RBI single to make it 6-4. He then plunked Desmond Jennings with a pitch, and Yunel Escobar cut the deficit to one with a sac fly to right. Ryan Hanigan struck out to end the threat.
Bryan Shaw tossed a perfect ninth for his second save of the season.
Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley has an 11-game hitting streak ... The Tribe went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base ... The Rays have lost five of six.