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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | December 16, 2017

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Game #95: Baltimore Orioles (50-44) at Cleveland Indians (47-47)

By Mike Brandyberry

Saturday evening Zach McAllister pitched into the eighth inning, giving the Indians a chance to win, but one mistake to Jim Thome, resulting in a two-run home run in the seventh gave the Orioles a lead they would never relinquish. Baltimore tacked on a run in the eighth and won the game, 3-1. The Tribe was only able to muster a solo home run from Shin-Soo Choo in the bottom of the first inning. The loss squandered a great start by McAllister, who appears to be solidifying himself in the rotation.

Saturday’s loss drops the Tribe to three and one-half games behind the new Central Division leaders, the Detroit Tigers. Detroit defeated the Chicago White Sox Saturday to take sole possession of the top spot for the first time since mid-April. Meanwhile, Baltimore, Chicago and the Oakland Athletics are all tied for the final wild card spot. Tampa Bay and Boston are each chasing for the final spot and are in front of the Indians, who now are three games in back of the final playoff spot. Currently, at .500, only three teams in the American League have worse records.

Today Josh Tomlin (5-6, 5.51 ERA) will take the mound for the Tribe and try to win their first game of the series. Tomlin pitched five and two-third innings, allowing four runs in a 4-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Amidst struggles and inconsistencies all season, Tomlin has pitched better in July. He is 1-1, with a 3.55 ERA this month. As usual, Tomlin is susceptible to the home run ball and will have to keep the ball down in the warm weather today.

The Orioles will send Zach Britton (0-0, 9.00 ERA) to the mound with the hopes of giving the O’s their fifth straight victory—a season high. Britton is making only his second start of the season. A year ago he was the team leader with 11 wins on the mound, but suffered shoulder soreness in March of this season. After rehabbing and rebuilding strength, he made his debut on Tuesday in Minnesota. However, he allowed four runs in four innings and walked six hitters, losing the game 6-4. Britton, a left-handed pitcher, will try to take advantage of the Indians’ southpaw struggles. Cleveland is just 10-19 against left-handed starters.

Today’s game action does not begin until 3:05 pm at Progressive Field. The unique Sunday start can be heard on the Indians Radio Network and seen on SportsTime Ohio.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Jose Lopez, 3B
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Carlos Santana, 1B
7. Shelley Duncan, DH
8. Lou Marson, C
9. Aaron Cunningham, LF

Baltimore Orioles Starting Lineup
1. Nick Markakis, RF
2. J.J. Hardy, SS
3. Jim Thome, DH
4. Adam Jones, CF
5. Wilson Betemit, 3B
6. Chris Davis, LF
7. Mark Reynolds, 1B
8. Ryan Flaherty, 2B
9. Taylor Teagarden, C

Photo: AP Photo/Mike Carlson