Published November 20, 2014
At long last, Luke Scott got a base hit.
It took more than a month and 41 hitless at-bats, but Scott's two-run homer helped spark a six-run fifth inning in a 10-3 Rays victory over the Indians.
Scott's home run was the only hit he had in five at-bats, and it was one of Tampa Bay's 13 on the night, but he managed to avoid the dubious feat of the longest hitless streak by a non-pitcher in major league history.
He was five shy before his home run, reluctantly chasing Bill Bergen's 1909 stretch of 46 hitless at-bats.
"I know he's going to sleep a lot better tonight," Rays manager Joe Maddon said about Scott.
Ben Zobrist also homered, while B.J. Upton had three hits for the Rays, who evened their July record at 3-3. Desmond Jennings, Jose Lobaton and Carlos Pena also had multi-hit efforts, and Alex Cobb (4-5) got the win after allowing three runs in six innings.
Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera had multiple hits atop the lineup for Cleveland, but the Indians saw their three-game win streak snapped.
Justin Masterson (5-8) had a miserable outing, yielding eight runs, nine hits and four walks in only 4 1/3 innings. Despite the short start, he managed seven strikeouts.
"Justin just didn't have very command of his pitches," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He was a bit erratic and they made him pay for it."
The game looked to be competitive and high-scoring after both teams scored two in the first, but it was all Tampa Bay after that.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the third, Lobaton sent a single through the middle to plate two and put the Rays ahead for good. In the fifth, Scott and company made sure Cleveland wouldn't come back.
Upton singled leading off, and Scott mercifully ended his skid with a moonshot to right-center. Two batters later, Lobaton singled, and Will Rhymes worked a walk to send Masterson to the locker room.
"What did it feel like? Take a 300 pound gorilla and pull it off my back. It's just been a lot of weight and a lot of pressure. I hope this is the start of getting back on track," said Scott.
Nick Hagadone didn't fare any better, immediately allowing Elliot Johnson's two-run double for an 8-2 margin. Zobrist added a sacrifice fly later in the inning and was followed by Upton's second single of the inning to score another for the 10th run.
The Indians got one back in the home fifth on a Choo RBI single, but it was not near enough to stage a comeback.
The Rays improved to only 5-13 against the AL Central...Scott's last hit also drove in two runs -- a single on June 1. His batting average fell more than 40 points during the drought...Masterson matched a season-high by allowing eight earned runs. He had allowed nine earned runs in his last six starts combined.