Big Fifth Inning and Masterful Outing by Kluber Secure Tribe Win; Indians 9, Orioles 0

It was a reunion during Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, as the Indians, for the first time this season, faced their former teammate Ubaldo Jimenez, on the hill for the Orioles. With the series tied at 1-1, the Indians took the series lead with a 9-0 win over the Orioles.

Corey Kluber took the mound for the Tribe, and improved to 5-3.  He also became the MLB leader in strikeouts on the season with 83 following his seven-inning outing.

The game remained scoreless after the first inning, though Jimenez walked Michael Brantley, batting third, with two outs in the inning. Brantley stole second with Lonnie Chisenhall at the plate, who was called out at first following a challenge on the field by the Orioles on a play the initially called Chisenhall safe on a grounder to first. Kluber allowed one hit in the first inning, as Adam Jones singled with two outs. Chris Davis then walked, putting runners on first and second with Nelson Cruz at the plate. Cruz popped out to David Murphy in right field, ending the inning with no runs being scored.

Ryan Raburn led off for the Tribe in the second inning, and was called out on strikes with a full count. Murphy lined to right field, with Carlos Santana drawing a walk off a full count. With Santana at first, Yan Gomes also drew a walk, putting runners on first and second for Justin Sellers. Sellers grounded into a force out, with Gomes being thrown out at second to end the top of the second. Kluber notched his first strikeout of the game in the bottom of the second, striking out Delmon Young swinging. The Orioles were retired in order to end the second, with the score remaining tired at zero headlining into the third inning.

Michael Bourn lead off the third inning with a single, though no progress was made as a double-play ball hit by Brantley ended the inning. Despite a single from J.J. Hardy in the bottom of the third, the Orioles could not score, either, keeping the game scoreless heading into the fourth.

The Indians went down in order to start the fourth, and Kluber posted his sixth strikeout in the bottom of the inning, which left the game still scoreless despite a double from Cruz putting the Orioles on the bases with one out. The game proceeded into the fifth inning deadlocked at zero.

The Indians got their leadoff hitter aboard in the top of the fifth when Jimenez walked Santana, bringing Gomes to the plate. Gomes delivered a line drive, base hit to center field, advancing Santana and putting runners on first and second with no outs. Sellers came to the plate attempting to bunt, though ended up hitting a ball straight toward Jimenez. Jimenez could not reach the ball and it flew to second, though second baseman Jonathan Schoop, though he could not deliver the out smoothly. Schoop was charged with an error that ultimately scored Santana, giving the Indians a 1-0 lead. Bourn then walked to load the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth inning. Mike Aviles delivered an RBI single to score Gomes and bring the score to 2-0 Cleveland. Jimenez was removed from the game following Aviles’ hit, bringing former Indians’ farmhand T.J. McFarland in for the Orioles. McFarland began his outing facing Brantley, who made it to first when he was hit by a pitch. Sellers scored to bring the Tribe’s lead up to 3-0. Chisenhall earned his ninth RBI of the season on a line drive to right field, which scored Bourn and gave the Indians a 4-0 lead, still without any outs in the inning. Raburn hit into a double play to mark the first two outs of the inning, though Sellers scored to give the Tribe a 5-0 lead. Brantley advanced the third, though the inning then ended when Murphy was thrown out at first.

Despite the Orioles getting two men on base in the bottom of the fifth, they could not retaliate against the Tribe. Kluber threw his eighth strikeout of the game to end the fifth and keep the Indians ahead 5-0.

For the second inning in a row, the Indians got their first two hitters aboard in the sixth inning on a walk drawn by Santana and a single from Gomes. Sellers hit into a sac bunt to advance Santana and Gomes to third and second, respectively, and brought Bourn to the plate with one out. The Indians could not add to their lead, however,as Bourn struck out and Aviles flew out to Cruz to end the inning.

Brantley opened the seventh inning with a single, extending his hitting streak to ten straight games. Chisenhall followed with a double, advancing Brantley to third with no outs. Raburn delivered a two-run double, resulting in a 7-0 lead with no outs. After Murpy groundout, Santana followed with a two-run homer to give the Indians a 9-0 lead headed into the bottom of the inning.

The Indians committed their first error of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, which allowed Schoop to reach first on a throwing error from Chisenhall. The inning ended before Schoop could advance, sending the Indians into the eighth inning still ahead 9-0. Bourn reached first on a fielding error by second baseman Steve Lombardozzi, though no runs were scored throughout the rest of the inning.

John Axford relieved Kluber in the bottom of the eighth and tossed a scoreless inning to send the game into its final inning. Ryan Webb came on the close the game for the Orioles, and retired the Indians in order to take the game into the bottom of the ninth. Marc Rzepczynski closed the game for the Indians, and tossed a scoreless ninth to end the game.

The Indians will attempt to win their series in Baltimore tomorrow at 1:35, when Trevor Bauer (1-1, 2.25) will face off against Miguel Gonzalez (2-3, 4.53) before heading to Chicago on Monday.

Photo: Mitchell Layton/ Getty Images

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