Two of AL’s Top Teams Face Off as Tribe Takes on Orioles
Bob Toth | On 22, Jul 2016
Two of the very best teams in the American League this season will face off again as the Baltimore Orioles host the Cleveland Indians for a three-game series this weekend.
The Indians (56-38) hope to finish their nine-game road trip on a high note after two successful stops to start the trip in Minnesota and Kansas City. They took two of three from the Twins and lost in walk-off fashion in the other in a winnable contest. They took each of the last two in KC after a costly seven-run eighth inning in the opener on Monday.
The Orioles (54-40) have been a streaky team of late, which has led to them losing their long hold of the AL East’s top spot during the week. One month ago Friday, they started a seven-game winning streak, then followed it by losing five straight. They have added a four-game winning stretch before dropping four in a row this week, including three of four to the New York Yankees.
Friday, 7/22, 7:05 PM ET – RHP Trevor Bauer (7-3, 3.36 ERA) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (2-2, 3.70)
Saturday, 7/23, 7:05 PM ET – RHP Josh Tomlin (10-2, 3.34) vs. RHP Kevin Gausman (1-7, 4.05)
Sunday, 7/24, 1:05 PM ET – RHP Corey Kluber (9-8, 3.42) vs. RHP Vance Worley (2-1, 3.16)
TV (all games) – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio; MASN 2
Radio (all games) – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; 105.7 The Fan (Baltimore)
Cody Anderson (P) – recalled from Triple-A Columbus (July 22)
Michael Brantley (LF) – 60-day disabled list (May 10) – right shoulder inflammation, right biceps tendinitis
Joe Colon (RP) – 15-day disabled list (July 22) – right shoulder inflammation
Yan Gomes (C) – 15-day disabled list (July 17) – separated right shoulder
Tommy Hunter (RP) – 15-day disabled list (July 16) – non-displaced lower back fracture
Zach McAllister (RP) – 15-day disabled list (July 7) – right hip discomfort; on rehab assignment
Dariel Alvarez (OF) – recalled from Triple-A Norfolk (July 22)
Brian Duensing (RP) – 60-day disabled list (June 20) – left elbow inflammation
Hyun Soo Kim (OF) – 15-day disabled list (July 11) – right hamstring strain
T.J. McFarland (RP) – 15-day disabled list (June 29) – left knee inflammation
Darren O’Day (RP) – 15-day disabled list (June 3) – right hamstring strain; on rehab assignment
Joey Rickard (CF) – 15-day disabled list (July 21) – right thumb ligament
Matt Wieters (C) – day-to-day – right foot injury
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS
The Orioles came into Progressive Field at the end of May and took two of three from the Tribe. Cleveland salvaged a win in the middle game, 11-4, but lost the bookend games by 6-4 scores.
ALL THE RUNS
The Indians and Orioles come in as two of the top scoring clubs in the American League this season. Cleveland has averaged 5.02 runs per game, second only to Boston (5.69). Baltimore ranks fourth in the league with 4.85 runs per game. Both clubs have played 94 games.
The Orioles are the top home run club in all of baseball with 142 this season, four better than the Seattle Mariners. Mark Trumbo leads the way with 28, tied for the league lead with Todd Frazier of Chicago. Chris Davis is tied for eighth with 22. Manny Machado’s 19 are tied for 17th, Adam Jones’ 17 are tied for 24th, and Jonathan Schoop’s 16 are 28th.
The Indians head into the weekend with 70 stolen bases in 88 attempts this season, the second-most thefts in the AL. The Orioles, by comparison, will not be a concern in that department – they have just 13 stolen bases in 22 tries this season.
TRUMBO SLOWED TO START SECOND HALF
The Orioles All-Star outfielder Trumbo has been slowed to start the second half, hitting just .192 with a double and no runs batted in.
His season as a whole, however, has certainly been All-Star worth, as he is hitting .282 with 17 doubles, 28 homers, and 68 RBI this season for the Orioles.
MANNY BEING MANNY
Machado has returned to his third base position after the return of J.J. Hardy from the disabled list and has remained an offensive force at the plate. In 89 games this season, the All-Star is hitting .310 with a team-leading 30 doubles, 19 homers, and 54 RBI.
In six games since the All-Star break, Machado is hitting .190 (4-for-21) with two runs scored and one run batted in.
NAPOLI KNOWS HOW TO PARTY
Napoli has hit safely in nine straight games, dating back to July 8 against the Yankees. During that span, he has hit five home runs, scored eleven runs, and driven in ten.
He has improved his batting average 12 points over his streak to .249 on the year with a .332 on-base percentage with 15 doubles, a triple, and a team leading 22 homers and 67 RBI.
Tyler Naquin has continued his underrated play at the plate this season through the first two series of the second half. In five games, he has hit .412 with a .500 on-base percentage. He has seven hits in that span, including a pair of doubles and three homers while driving in a team-leading seven runs. He has hit in four straight.
For the year, Naquin is hitting .324 with a .387 on-base percentage in 63 games with nine doubles, five triples, a dozen homers, and 29 RBI.
The Indians will take Monday off as they finally return back home. They will host the Washington Nationals for two games this week, an evening matchup on Tuesday and an afternoon game on Wednesday before taking Thursday off once again. The Orioles will play an interleague series as well as they host the Colorado Rockies for three straight, beginning Monday night.
Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky