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Rays’ Logan Forsythe goes deep as Tampa Bay wins series opener

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The Tampa Bay Rays saved it for the end.

Held to one hit for most of the night by Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber, the Rays rallied in the seventh and eighth for four hits and four runs to win the opening game of their series, 5-1, Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

Kluber was rolling. He had a one-hit shutout through seven before the Rays’ bats came alive. In the seventh, Corey Dickerson doubled, and Desmond Jennings followed with a single to drive him home and tie the game.

In the eighth, Logan Forsythe hit a full-count two-run home run to left-center. Two hitters later, Evan Longoria also hit a two-run homer.

“We had some momentum going from the inning before when Desmond tied the game. We had (Kevin Kiermaier) on base. My thought process was that Kluber was great all night. He was hitting his spots in and out, and a lot of us were 0-2. I really wanted to bear down and get something through the infield. He came with a fastball over the plate, and I just got the barrel to it.”

Matt Moore started for the Rays and gave up only a home run to Francisco Lindor. Moore was hit hard in the inning, giving up a single, double and deep fly ball, but the Indians ran their way into a double play.

“We are a lot more confident than we were last year at this point,” Longoria said. “That comes from top to bottom.”

The Rays are now 3-4 after seven games. They play Cleveland again tonight.

“We knew that we needed to get better at winning those close games,” said manager Kevin Cash. “This is a big one. We’ve played in plenty of close games already in this early part of the season. The guys are quickly becoming seasoned to it.”

Drew Smyly pitches for the Rays tonight against Carlos Carrasco.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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