Big Third Pushes O’s Past Tribe; Orioles 5, Indians 1
Bob Toth | On 17, May 2019
Dylan Bundy and the Baltimore bullpen limited the Cleveland bats to just three hits and a three-run Orioles third off of Indians’ starter Jefry Rodriguez proved to be the difference in a 5-1 win by the visitors on Friday night.
On the first fireworks night of the season, Indians fans had to wait until the postgame display as the bats were cooled on the mid-May spring night from Progressive Field. One night after scoring 14 against Baltimore pitching, the Cleveland lineup combined for just three hits against Bundy, who was able to keep the Indians off-balance with his off-speed options on the mound. The most important factor for Bundy was that he kept the Indians in the yard – something that he has struggled with over recent campaigns.
The Indians took an early lead against Bundy, but it proved to be just temporary. After the first four batters of the night were retired in order, Jose Ramirez reached safely on an error by second baseman Jonathan Villar in the second. Ramirez stole second and scored on an RBI-single by Jake Bauers to give the Indians a 1-0 lead after two.
Baltimore responded with a big swing in the third to turn the tables on the Tribe. Rio Ruiz doubled to right-center to start the inning against Rodriguez and moved to third on a single to right by Austin Wynns. A liner to left by Richie Martin put one out on the board, but Villar made up for his previous error by sending a 1-0 curveball deep to right-center for a crushing three-run home run, putting the Orioles out in front by a 3-1 count.
Bundy worked around a pair of base runners in the third before the Orioles took Rodriguez deep again to start the fourth. Stevie Wilkerson fouled off four pitches in an eight-pitch battle, driving the final 2-2 curveball to right for a solo shot, extending the O’s lead to 4-1.
The Orioles starter had another two runner jam with two outs in the fifth, but escaped unharmed. Two more reached with two outs in the sixth after a Bauers walk and a second error on Villar that allowed Jordan Luplow to reach safely, but Branden Kline took over for Baltimore on the mound and retired Leonys Martin on a grounder to second.
Rodriguez returned for a seventh inning of work and got two outs before turning the game over to the bullpen. He walked Wynns, but got Martin to ground back to the mound to start a double play. Tyler Olson retired Villar on a grounder to short to send the game to the stretch.
After a three-up, three-down effort from Kline, Baltimore added another run of insurance in the eighth. Olson retired Dwight Smith Jr. on a foul out to Roberto Perez. Neil Ramirez took over and gave up a double to Trey Mancini before Chris Davis reached with a single to put runners on the corners. Wilkerson stepped in and drove in another run, doubling to right-center to make it 5-1.
Kline walked Carlos Santana to start the bottom of the eighth before former Indians reliever Shawn Armstrong came on in relief. He got Carlos Gonzalez to line out to center before striking out Ramirez and Bauers swinging. In the ninth, Mychal Givens worked a 1-2-3 frame, striking out Luplow and pinch-hitter Mike Freeman around a groundout by Martin.
The O’s moved to 15-29 on the season and 9-14 on the road while evening up the series at a game apiece. The loss dropped the Indians to 23-20 on the year and 12-8 at Progressive Field.
Bundy improved to 2-5 on the season in a far more productive effort on the mound for the Orioles. He allowed just one unearned run on three hits in five and two-thirds innings, striking out seven and walking three along the way. He threw a season-high 118 pitches. The bullpen worked three and one-third scoreless and hitless innings behind him, giving up one walk while striking out five.
Rodriguez gave the Indians some length, recording two outs into the seventh inning before turning the game over to the bullpen. He gave up four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out five. He dropped to 1-3 on the year in the defeat.
“I thought it was the best he’s thrown, actually,” said manager Terry Francona. “He threw more breaking balls tonight by far than he has in any other outing. I just think he’s fun to watch get better.”
The Indians mustered just three singles off of the Orioles pitching staff in the game. Bauers recorded the team’s only run of the game with his RBI-single to score Ramirez in the second. Lindor and Kipnis were the only other two to reach via base hit.
Game three of the four-game weekend set at Progressive Field is scheduled for a 4:10 PM ET start on Saturday afternoon. The Indians will call up right-hander Adam Plutko from Triple-A Columbus to make his third start of the season and his first with the Indians. The Orioles will send out left-hander John Means (5-3, 2.33 ERA), who handled both the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels with ease in his last two starts.
Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)