A Good Start Spoiled; Orioles 3, Indians 1
By Christian Petrila
The Indians offense went missing-in-action (again) and it wasted a terrific outing from a starter (again).
Cleveland scored first, but was kept off the board; wasting opportunities left and right and losing game two of their four-game set with Baltimore, 3-1.
The first tally was put on the board by Shin Soo Choo, who continued his success in the leadoff spot by takingBaltimorestarter Chris Tillman deep in the first inning. The home run was Choo’s fifth in the leadoff spot this season. The Indians weren’t able to add to Choo’s solo shot, as Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley went down in order.
Zach McAllister was extremely efficient throughout the night. He only allowed two hits entering the seventh. J.J. Hardy led off the inning with a single. The next batter was Jim Thome and for the second time in as many nights, he took an Indians starter into the seats in right to giveBaltimorea 2-1 lead. McAllister did settle down after the Thome bomb by retiring the next three hitters in order.
The Orioles got some insurance in the eighth inning. With McAllister still dealing, the first two were retired on great defensive plays by Choo and Jack Hannahan respectively. He had Ryan Flaherty down in the count 0-2. After a long battle, Flaherty worked the count full. He took the 3-2 pitch to straight away center that made it through the trees. That made it 3-1Baltimore. McAllister’s night was over, and he left to a well-deserved ovation. Tony Sipp came on in relief and allowed the first two hitters he faced to reach base via a single and a walk. He struck out Thome to retire the side and end the threat.
McAllister’s final line was 7.2 innings pitched while allowing three runs on five hits. He also struck out six and didn’t walk a single batter.
“Another great job by McAllister,” Manny Acta said. “He continues to impress every five days here. He was terrific.”
The Indians offense was dormant the rest of the way once again. Once again, hitting with runners in scoring position turned out to be the team’s Achilles’ Heel. They were 0-5 with opportunities missed in the second and fifth innings.
Tillman’s final line was 6.2 innings pitched while allowing just the one run on Choo’s home run. He allowed six hits and struck out four while walking one.
Despite the loss, the Indians did manage to draw their second-largest crowd of the season, behind only Opening Day. The attendance on Saturday was 36,247.
The loss drops the Indians to .500 with a 47-47 record.Baltimoreimproves to 50-44.
Photo: AP Photo/Mark Duncan