The Cleveland Indians fell behind early and never got anything going offensively as they lost 5-1 to the Baltimore Orioles Friday night in the series opener. The loss dropped the Indians to 56-39 on the season, though they maintained their hold on the best record in the American League. The Orioles moved to 55-40 with the win and moved back ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East by half a game.
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Starter Trevor Bauer, pitching on an extra day of rest, struggled early and never seemed to find his groove all game. He fell to 7-4 on the season after allowing five runs (all earned) in just four innings. He allowed five hits and walked four while striking out five. The big blow came in the 1st inning as Mark Trumbo hit his league-leading 29th home run of the season, a three-run no-doubter to left-center field putting the Orioles up 3-0. The Orioles came back and added a fourth run in the bottom of the 2nd inning on a sacrifice fly by Adam Jones. Manny Machado then made it 5-0 in the 3rd with his 20th home run of the season, a solo shot to center.
The Indians bullpen came on in the 5th inning and pitched well, throwing four scoreless frames in relief of Bauer. Jeff Manship worked the 5th inning before giving way to Cody Anderson in the 6th. Anderson was called up prior to the game after Joseph Colon was placed on the disabled list. Anderson worked 1 1/3 innings allowing four hits but no runs. Dan Otero faced one batter, getting a double play to get out of a mini-jam in the 7th inning before giving way to Austin Adams who worked the 8th.
The Tribe offense couldn’t get anything going all day and looked like they forgot to bring their hitting shoes from Kansas City. Despite getting eight hits they managed just one run, on a double-play groundout by Carlos Santana in the top of the 5th inning scoring Abraham Almonte making it 5-1 O’s. Despite knocking in that run (though he did not get credited for a run batted in), it wasn’t a good day for Santana who hit into two double plays with runners in scoring position. Mike Napoli also had a day to forget, collecting a “golden sombrero” by striking out four times.
Juan Uribe also had a painful day. While he did go 1 for 2 (and getting one of the Tribe’s two hits with runners in scoring position) he had to leave the game in the 7th inning after taking a pitch to the head. He’s being listed as day-to-day. Orioles starter Dylan Bundy earned the win moving to 3-2 on the season after allowing just the one run (an unearned run) on five hits. Reliever Zach Britton got his 31st save, recording a single out in the 9th inning after Odrisamer Despaigne worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief prior.
The Indians will look to even the series tomorrow night as Josh Tomlin (10-2, 3.34 ERA) looks to continue his strong season. He’ll be opposed by the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman (1-7, 4.05). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm as the Tribe looks to extend their lead in the division, which stands at 6.5 games (the Detroit Tigers game is still ongoing as of this publication and they are tied).