CLEVELAND, Ohio — Welcome to Progressive Field for the start of the 2022 Major League Baseball playoffs. There are four games on Friday in the wild-card round, and the Tampa Bay Rays get to start it off Game 1 of their series against the Cleveland Guardians.
This is our LIVE BLOG, which will keep you updated in real time. There's been a lot going on this morning as we get ready to go.
We'll keep you updated in real time, so just keep refreshing for the latest news. Here we go!
FINAL: Randy Arozarena flies out to left and the Guardians beat the Rays 2-1. It snaps an eight-game postseason losing streak for Cleveland. Game 2 is Saturday at 12:07, with the season on the line. Tyler Glasnow pitching for Tampa Bay.
2:22 p.m. — We go to the ninth inning, and the Rays have the top of the order up to face Emmanuel Clase. Yandy Diaz strikes out, and Wander Franco grounds out to short. Two down.
2:15 p.m. — Garrett Cleavinger on to pitch the eighth inning for the Rays. Great outing for Shane McClanahan, with just the one mistake to Jose Ramirez. Threw just 85 pitches in seven innings.
2:11 p.m. — Today's attendance for Rays and Guardians is 30,741. They've been loud, and having fun.
2:07 p.m. — Jose Siri, who's been the player of the day for the Rays, pops up to third to end the eighth inning. Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase gets the final out, so he'll be looking for a four-out save. End of eight, GUARDIANS 2, RAYS 1.
2:03 p.m. — Isaac Paredes comes on to pinch-hit for Taylor Walls with two outs in the eighth, and he singles to left. That will do it for Cleveland starter Shane Bieber, who was fantastic. Allowed only three hits, struck out eight on 99 pitches.
1:56 p;.m. — Shane McClanahan gets through the seventh unscathed. Gives up a one-out single to Andres Gimenez, but strikes out Hedges and gets Myles Straw to pot out. We are through seven innings, and it's GUARDIANS 2, RAYS 1.
1:34 p.m. — Cleveland star Jose Ramirez rips a two-run homer over the wall in right-center too, not far from where Siri hit his homer. There's a long review though over whether Amed Rosario re-touched second base on the homer. The call stands and it's GUARDIANS 2, RAYS 1.
1:30 p.m. — Friendly reminder. Even though the game is on ESPN today, Bally will be doing a postgame show. Tricia Whitaker Brian Anderson are here in Cleveland with Rich Hollenberg and Doug Waechter back in the studio.
1:23 p.m. — The Rays get on the board first with a home run from Jose Siri to right center. It was a line shot that went 403. He hit the ball hard first time up, too. RAYS 1, GUARDIANS 0.
1:18 p.m. — We're seeing Shane McClanahan at his best today. He gets through the fifth in order, throwing just seven pitches. He's only thrown 53 pitches in five innings. Through five, it's still RAYS 0, GUARDIANS 0.
1:07 p.m. — The Rays finally have a base hit as Harold Ramirez leads off the fifth inning with a single to center. Nothing happens afterward though, with with a popout to third (Ji-Man Choi), a fly out to left (Manuel Margot) and a strike out (Christian Bethancourt).
1:04 p.m. — Cleveland gets two men on in the fourth on soft singles by Oscar Gonzalez and Josh Naylor with one, but then the Rays turn a double play on a ground ball to Yandy Diaz at third. End of four, it's RAYS 0, GUARDIANS 0.
12:57 p.m. — The Rays' struggles at the plate simply didn't go away overnight, apparently. We get back to the top of the order in the fourth, but Yandy Diaz strikes out, Wander Franco grounds out and Randy Arozarena struck out to end the inning. Shane Bieber is through four innings on just 49 pitches, still no hits for the Rays.
12:51 pm. — Another solid third inning for Shane McClanahan. Gives up a Myles Straw single with one out, but gets it done from there. Through three, it's still RAYS 0, GUARDIANS 0.
12:42 p.m. — The Rays go down in order in the third as well, but at least there was some solid contact. Tampa Bay center fielder Jose Siri flied out to deep center just in front of the 400-foot mark to end the inning. Shane Bieber has faced the minimum so far.
12:35 p.m. — And easy second inning for McClanahan. He has a 1-2-3 inning on just eight pitches. That's just 21 pitches total through two, which is a good thing for a team that watches pitch counts closely. The Rays need a big start from him. Through two innings, it's RAYS 0, GUARDIANS 0.
12:24 p.m. — The Rays have their first base-runner in the top of the second when Ji-Man Choi draws a one-out walk, but he gets erased quickly when Manuel Margot grounds into a 5-4-3 double play. Cleveland starter Shane Bieber gets through the first two innings on just 24 pitches.
12:17 p.m. ET — Shane McClanahan gives up a one-out single to Cleveland shortstop Amed Rosario in the first inning, but gets out of any trouble by striking out Guardians star Jose Ramirez and getting right-fielder Oscar Gonzalez to pop up. We're through on inning, and it's RAYS 0, GUARDIANS 0.
12:09 p.m. ET — We're off and rolling here, with Yandy Diaz leading off for the Rays against Shane Bieber. He grounds out to second base, and the 2022 postseason is on. He follows that up with strikeouts of Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena, and the Rays go down in order in the first.
11:55 a.m. — Here's your weather update for today. After a sunny day in the mid-70s on Thursday, it's overcast and in the low 50s here as we're ready to go. It's not supposed to rain, so we'll see. Official game time temp is 52 degrees.
11:50 a.m. — This is the first time the Rays and Guardians have met in the playoffs since 2013. The Rays won the wild-card game that year.
11:40 a.m. ET — The starting lineups are out, and now we know what Kevin Cash wants to do at second base. Taylor Walls is getting the start over Jonathan Aranda and/or Isaac Paredes. The pitching matchup is Shane McClanahan vs. Shane Bieber. If you didn't see my column on McClanahan, here's the link to it. CLICK HERE
11:30 a.m. ET — Friendly reminder that the game is being televised on ESPN today. Jon Sciambi, Doug Glanville and Jesse Rogers on the call. Here's the link to all the TV information. CLICK HERE
Related stories on Rays baseball
- GAMEDAY PREVIEW: After dealing with a tight left shoulder for a couple of weeks, Tampa Bay third baseman Yandy Diaz said he feels better and is ready to go when the Rays take on the Cleveland Guardians in Game 1 of the wild-card playoffs on Friday. The Rays' lineup is better when Diaz is in it. CLICK HERE
- CLOSERS READY TO ROLL: Every out matters a little more in the postseason, especially outs near the end of games. Tampa Bay is going to rely heavily on Jason Adam and Pete Fairbanks to close out games in this wild-card series against Cleveland that starts on Friday, and both pitchers are rested, refreshed and ready to go. CLICK HERE
- TOM BREW COLUMN: Up and down the Tampa Bay lineup, Rays hitters have really struggled of late, especially against right-handed pitchers. That's all they're going to see in the wild-card playoff round that starts Friday in Cleveland, so can they flip the switch in time to get hot again to win this series? CLICK HERE
- FRANCONA RELISHES PLAYOFF RETURN: It was 10 years ago that Terry Francona was hired in Cleveland, and the winningest manager in franchise history still loves making it to the postseason. Here's what he said during Thursday's series preview press conference. CLICK HERE
- GUARDIANS ARE RED-HOT: Cleveland finished the final 30 games of the regular seaason with a 24-6 record as they get ready for its postseason series against Tampa Bay. CLICK HERE