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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | August 20, 2017

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Game #96: Baltimore Orioles (51-44) at Cleveland Indians (47-48)

By Mike Brandyberry

Sunday afternoon the Indians’ offense was stagnant and non-existent for eight innings before exploding for three runs on four consecutive hits. However, it wasn’t enough to comeback and the Tribe lost, 4-3. Josh Tomlin had another tough first inning, allowing a two-run homer to J.J. Hardy and the Indians were never able to catch up.

The defeat yesterday drops the Indians below the .500 mark for the first time since April 14. The Feisty Featherheads awake this morning trailing the first place Detroit Tigers by four and one-half games in the American League Central Division. The Tribe resides in third place, three games behind the Chicago White Sox and while they only four games behind the final wild card spot, they have five teams in front of them, so fighting for that spot could be a very difficult task.

Cleveland will try to get back to .500 this evening when Justin Masterson (6-8, 4.29 ERA) takes the mound. Masterson has won his last three starts against the Orioles, including a July 1 victory, but has been very inconsistent this month. He allowed four runs in four and one-third innings on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Indians were able to win the game, 10-6. It was the last victory for the Tribe before their current four game losing streak.

The Orioles will vie for the four-game sweep with Tommy Hunter (4-4, 5.71 ERA) taking the hill. Hunter has had an up and down season, beginning the year in the rotation, then being sent to the bullpen and eventually the minors before being placed back in the rotation. Hunter allowed just six hits and one run in seven and one-third innings on Wednesday over Minnesota, earning the win.

The Indians will try to salvage a game in the four game series with Baltimore, but more importantly, they will try to salvage their season. Cleveland finds themselves on the cusp of playing their way out of contention. The Tribe has a key three game series beginning tomorrow with Detroit. Cleveland has to begin hitting the baseball, getting runners in from scoring position with less than two outs and winning games. If the Indians don’t, they won’t have a need for a trade deadline move.

Game action begins tonight at Progressive Field at 7:05 pm. The game can be heard on the Indians Radio Network and viewed on SportsTime Ohio.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Michael Brantley, CF
5. Carlos Santana, C
6. Travis Hafner, DH
7. Johnny Damon, LF
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Jack Hannahan, 3B

Baltimore Orioles Starting Lineup
1. Nick Markakis, RF
2. Endy Chavez, LF
3. Jim Thome, DH
4. Adam Jones, CF
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Wilson Betemit, 3B
7. Chris Davis, 1B
8. Ryan Flaherty, 2B
9. Omar Quintanilla, SS

Photo: Getty Images