CLEVELAND -- The Indians have waited all season to win three straight games, so what's another two hours?

After a nearly two-hour rain delay preceded the first pitch of Wednesday night's game, the Indians finally got that much-anticipated first winning streak of the season. Their 12-7 win over the Rays put them on the verge of a four-game sweep at Progressive Field, with Thursday's series finale looming less than 12 hours after Wednesday's last out.

This was the Tribe's third attempt at winning three in a row.

"That's the hump we've been trying to get over," manager Eric Wedge said. "Obviously, we have to sleep fast, come out and fight again."

This game was a fight from the beginning. Well, after the wait was over, that is. Rain clouds hovered over the ballpark all afternoon and into the evening, delaying the 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch to 9 p.m.

And when the game began, it did so with a thud for left-hander Zach Jackson.

Freshly promoted to make a spot start with the rotation in disarray, Jackson was rocked for five runs in the first.

The delay probably didn't help his pregame routine any.

"It's tough to have a routine, at that point," Jackson said. "Every time the phone rang [in the clubhouse], it seemed it was delayed and delayed and delayed. Regardless, I was ready to go."

And the Rays hitters were ready to pounce. Fortunately for Jackson, the Indians' hitters were just as eager to get to work against struggling right-hander Andy Sonnanstine.

The Indians erased a 10-run deficit on Monday, so a five-run hole in the first seemed rather routine, by comparison. It was gone by the end of a five-run second highlighted by Ben Francisco's three-run shot off Sonnanstine -- a pitcher he has dominated to the tune of an .889 average (8-for-9) with five homers and 12 RBIs, including a 4-for-4 mark with three homers and seven RBIs this year.

Taking a cue from Francisco, the Indians knocked Sonnanstine out of the game after just three innings. In the third, consecutive RBI singles from Francisco, Jamey Carroll and Asdrubal Cabrera gave the Tribe an 8-6 lead.

"After [the Rays] put up that five spot, we knew we had nine at-bats to go," Francisco said. "Everybody had good at-bats, and we were able to put together big innings."

The Rays never had another big inning in this game. Jackson shook off that rough first and made it through the fourth, though he gave up an unearned run in the third and an Evan Longoria solo shot in the fourth. Then he handed the ball to the bullpen, where Greg Aquino's two scoreless innings and Luis Vizcaino's three scoreless provided a major lift.

"Aquino and Vizcaino did a tremendous job," Wedge said.

With the bullpen already taxed as it is, and Aquino and Vizcaino likely unavailable Thursday, Wedge said the Indians will have to consider making a roster move in advance of Thursday's game. Left-hander Rafael Perez, who was demoted to Columbus on May 6, is a possibility.

Up until the fifth, the Rays still presented the possibility of climbing back into this game. It was an 8-7 game when the Indians came to bat in the bottom of the inning, but they had no trouble putting the game away against the Rays' bullpen. With runners on the corners, Victor Martinez ripped a two-run double to right and Shin-Soo Choo cranked out a two-run homer to right-center to put this game to bed.

Of course, neither team will get much time in bed before the next game is played at 12:05 p.m. ET Thursday.

But the Indians were set to rest their eyes with the knowledge that, at long last, they have some forward momentum.

"There's some guys that are stepping up that we need to in the bullpen," first baseman Ryan Garko said. "Aquino's throwing well and Vizcaino's throwing well. Everybody knew [the bullpen is] where we needed some guys to come through. It's not just the fact that we're winning games. Our defense has been good, what we're doing with guys in scoring position is getting better. The areas where we were scuffling, now we're getting better. So that's good."