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CLEVELAND (AP) — Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon has grown accustomed to watching low-scoring games this season.
The latest came Saturday night when Alex Colome and three relievers combined on a five-hitter as Tampa Bay blanked the Cleveland Indians 2-0.
The shutout was the 40th the Rays have been involved in this season and the 22nd Tampa Bay's pitchers have thrown. The Rays were blanked for the 18th time Friday in a 1-0 defeat.
"That's ridiculously high on both sides, but it's part of the baseball fabric right now," Maddon said.
Colome (2-0) allowed four hits in 6 1-3 innings. Joel Peralta recorded the final two outs in the seventh, Grant Balfour worked a perfect eighth and Jake McGee struck out the side in the ninth for his 19th save.
"Alex did a great job and Jake was kind of frisky at the end," Maddon said.
Although Colome struck out Yan Gomes to begin the seventh, Maddon made a quick move to the bullpen.
"He did a great job and I did not want anything negative to happen to him tonight," Maddon said. "His fastball command was really good."
"Everything was working for me tonight," Colome said through a translator. "I was able to control all the pitches coming out of my hand. I feel really pleased and good about it, and I'm thankful for Jake McGee."
The series has featured little scoring and a lot of strikeouts. The Indians added to their single-season record for strikeouts by fanning 11 batters, running their total for the year to 1,442. The Rays moved into second on the all-time list with 1,430 after also recording 11 strikeouts. The 2013 Detroit Tigers (1,428) held the record going into this weekend.
"You could see why that strikeout record has been in peril all year for both of our teams. You saw it last night and again today," Maddon said. "The pitching on both teams is pretty firm."
The Indians, who were eliminated from playoff contention Friday, got only two runners to second base. They committed two more errors, raising their major league-leading total to 116. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall's throwing error helped the Rays score an unearned run in the fourth.
Carlos Carrasco (8-7), who allowed one earned run and four hits while striking out 10 in 7 2-3 innings, also had a throwing error in the fifth.
"They were fortuitous in a sense," Maddon said of the miscues.
David DeJesus led off the fourth with an infield hit, the Rays' first of the game. Chisenhall then misplayed Evan Longoria's routine ground ball and made a wild throw that sailed into right field, allowing DeJesus to reach third. Wil Myers singled for the lead.
Carrasco was pulled with a runner on third in the eighth. Loney's infield hit off Marc Rzepczynski added a run.
Indians All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley collected his 200th hit of the season with a fourth-inning single.
Cleveland's best chance to score came in the first. Jose Ramirez, whose homer scored Friday's only run, bunted for a hit with one out and stole second. He advanced to third on a flyball, but Carlos Santana struck out.
3B Evan Longoria played in his 240th consecutive game Saturday, the second longest active streak behind Giants OF Hunter Pence, who is at 382. Longoria is one of four players to appear in every game this season. Pence, Braves 1B Freddie Freeman and Royals SS Alcides Escobar are the others.
Maddon said RHP Brad Boxberger won't pitch in the final game of the season Sunday. Boxberger is 5-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 63 appearances.
Rays: C Curt Casali (concussion) hasn't played since being struck on the mask by two foul tips off the bat of Boston's Rusney Castillo on Wednesday.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (10-8) will start the final game of the season Sunday. He was the winning pitcher in last season's wild-card game against the Indians at Progressive Field.
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