McAllister Shines In Return, Tribe Snaps Streak; Indians 7, Orioles 2
By Mike Brandyberry
The Indians did not just snap their five game losing streak, but did so by defeating a left-handed pitcher, something that has plagued the Tribe all season. Cleveland jumped on top early and used newly added starter Zach McAllister to carry them to a 7-2 win.
Cleveland jumped on top in the second inning when Jose Lopez led off the inning with a single to left and Michael Brantley walked. After Shelley Duncan popped out, Johnny Damon hit a three-run homer to right center field off Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen. The bomb gave the Indians a 3-0 lead and continued a productive June for Damon. He has hit over .290 since May 30.
The Tribe would extend their lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth inning when Shin-Soo Choo hit an opposite field, solo home run. The comfortable lead was enough for McAllister to work with. He was just recalled Thursday afternoon to replace Jeanmar Gomez in the rotation.
McAllister would allow the Orioles to close the gap in the bottom of the fifth inning when J.J. Hardy hit a two-out, two run home run to left field. The homer cut the lead to 4-2, but Baltimore would get no closer. McAllister would work into the sixth inning, pitching five and two-third innings, allowing seven hits and two runs, while striking out six. He threw 105 pitches before giving way to Joe Smith, who pitched the final out of the sixth inning and the seventh.
Meanwhile the Indians would put any doubt to rest in regards to the outcome in the top of the seventh inning. With one out Lou Marson doubled to deep right center field and Choo walked. That was enough to chase Chen from the game for Luis Ayala, who promptly gave up a three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera, making the score 7-2.
The bomb closed the book on Chen’s game and the outcome. Chen pitched six and one-third innings, allowing six hits and six runs, while walking three and allowing two home runs. The Indians scored all their runs by way of the long ball this evening.
Esmil Rogers would work two scoreless innings to keep the bullpen in tact for the remainder of the series. With temperatures around 100 degrees for the weekend, keeping the back end of the bullpen ready and rested will be key. The victory was only the Indians’ six win of the season against a left-handed starting pitcher.
The Tribe will look to build some momentum for the weekend on Friday when Derek Lowe (7-6, 4.28 ERA) will take on the Orioles’ Jake Arrieta (3-9, 5.55 ERA). While the Tribe struggles with left-handers, they are 11 games over .500 against righties. Game time is slated for 7:05 pm from Camden Yards.
Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images