Indians Make Lone Trip to Baltimore for Four with the O’s

The Cleveland Indians will make their only trip to Camden Yards this season when they play the Baltimore Orioles for four games in a weekend wraparound series.

The Indians (9-7) make their return back to the states after a two-day vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they were hosted by the “home” Minnesota Twins in a pair of midweek games. Cleveland used strong pitching and four home runs to capture the game one win before losing a tough 2-1 decision in 16 innings on Wednesday night. They have spent more time in the last week not playing than playing, after rain outs on Saturday and Sunday and off days on Monday and Thursday. How much the lack of game activity affects consistency and routine for the club remains to be seen.

The Orioles (5-14) had a very quiet offseason and it has translated into an unsurprisingly bad start to the 2018 season. They are losers of six straight games, swept in three by the Detroit Tigers during the week and three more by the Boston Red Sox last weekend. They have won just one series this season, when they took three of four from the Yankees in New York over the first full weekend in April. They also won their first game of the year in the season opener over the Twins and last won on April 11 against the Toronto Blue Jays to avoid a sweep.

TRIBE TRIVIA

Welcome to this weekend’s edition of Tribe Trivia, which will have a Baltimore theme to it.

This knuckleball hurling Hall of Famer was a member of the Indians pitching staff in 1957 and 1958 before he was claimed off of waivers by the Orioles. He would become an All-Star for the second time in 1959 and would make eight trips to the Midsummer Classic in his 21-year career. He is one of just four pitchers to throw a no-hitter for the Orioles since moving to Baltimore from St. Louis in time for the 1954 season. Who am I?

This current Orioles outfielder was once a member of the Indians farm system and was plucked away from Cleveland during the Rule 5 draft in December of 2016. He suited up for the O’s just 13 times last season, but has remained with the club. Who am I?

The Orioles threw the sixth combined no-hitter in Major League history on July 13, 1991, against the Oakland Athletics. Four pitchers appeared in the contest for the Birds and two of them would later pitch for the Indians. Name these two future Tribe hurlers.

Bauer – Ron Schwane/Getty Images

PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES

Friday, April 20, at 7:05 PM ET – RHP Trevor Bauer (1-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (0-2, 1.40)

Bauer will get back at it for the first time since pitching last Thursday against Detroit. He earned his first win of the season in another strong start, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings. It marked his third consecutive start with seven strikeouts recorded. He earned his first career win against Baltimore last year with a quality start. He allowed two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in six and one-third innings.

Bundy is off to a good start this season despite having nothing to show for it in the win column. He has made three quality starts in four outings in total, striking out as many as ten in a game this year. He has not received much run support this season, as he has allowed three runs or less in all four starts, but he has not found a W. His last time out against Boston on Sunday, he allowed one earned run (three total) on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings, his shortest start of the year. He is 2-1 in three games against the Indians with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP, winning two games against them in 2016 before losing a start last year when he allowed six runs in four and one-third innings.

Saturday, April 21, at 4:05 PM ET – RHP Mike Clevinger (1-0, 2.70) vs. RHP Chris Tillman (0-3, 11.91)

Clevinger ran into trouble in his last start with his control, as the Toronto Blue Jays tagged him for four runs in the fourth inning to end his outing short in a no-decision. He has struck out 14 batters in 16 2/3 innings on the year. He handled the Orioles well last season in a pair of starts, earning wins in both outings while allowing just two runs in eleven innings of work. He allowed a lot of traffic, walking seven and giving up nine hits, but he struck out eleven.

Tillman is off to a rough start for the Orioles. He has made three starts and lost three starts, allowing four, five, and six runs in those outings. In his last start, he retired just six batters, allowing six earned runs on seven hits with two walks and no strikeouts against Boston last Friday. The 30-year-old righty made one start and one relief appearance against Cleveland last year, allowing five runs on eight hits in four and one-third innings. He is 5-2 with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in ten career games against the Indians.

Sunday, April 22, at 1:05 PM ET – RHP Corey Kluber (2-1, 1.52) vs. RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57)

Kluber was strong again in his last start, his first career appearance on the island of Puerto Rico, when he limited the Minnesota Twins to just two walks and five hits in six and two-thirds innings. He struck out six to earn his second win in four starts. On the year, he has struck out 33 in 29 2/3 innings while issuing just six walks and allowing five runs. Kluber comes into the game Sunday with a 2-1 career record in six starts against Baltimore with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Last season’s lone start against them was the best of his career against the O’s, as he threw a complete game three-hit shutout, striking out eleven along the way.

Gausman has been hurt by the long ball in the early going, giving up six home runs through his first 21 innings of work. He has made back-to-back quality starts, going six innings both times while allowing nine base runners via hit or walk in each contest. His last time out, he allowed a pair of solo homers to the Detroit Tigers in six innings in a no-decision on Wednesday. He is 2-2 in his career against Cleveland with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP with 21 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. He lost his only start against the Indians last season.

Monday, April 23, at 7:05 PM ET – RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 2.60) vs. TBD

Carrasco took his first no-decision of the season despite an impressive outing against the Twins in San Juan on Wednesday. The 31-year-old fired seven scoreless innings against Minnesota, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out seven in his fourth outing of the year. He faced the Orioles just one time last season, working six scoreless innings while allowing seven hits and striking out ten. In his career, he is 2-2 against Baltimore with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in five games (four starts).

The Orioles have not formally announced a starter for Monday’s series finale at the time of this story.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TV: Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all); MASN (all); FS1 (4/21); MLB Network (out of market – 4/20, 4/22)
Radio (all): Cleveland Indians Radio Network (CLE); 105.7 The Fan (Baltimore)

TRANSACTIONS and INJURY NOTES

Cleveland:
Greg Allen (OF) – optioned to Triple-A Columbus (4/19)
Cody Anderson (P) – 60-day disabled list (2/25) – recovery from April 2017 UCL surgery
Lonnie Chisenhall (RF) – 10-day disabled list (4/8) – right calf strain
Ryan Merritt (P) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – left knee sprain
Danny Salazar (P) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – right shoulder rotator cuff tendonitis
Giovanny Urshela (UTL) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – right hamstring strain (on rehab assignment)

Baltimore:
Zach Britton (CL) – 60-day disabled list (2/15) – ruptured right Achilles tendon
Colby Rasmus (OF) – 10-day disabled list (4/7) – left hip flexor strain
Jonathan Schoop (2B) – 10-day disabled list (4/14) – Grade 1 right oblique strain
Tanner Scott (P) – recalled from Triple-A Norfolk (4/20)
Mark Trumbo (DH) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – right quad strain
Engelb Vielma (SS) – optioned to Triple-A Norfolk (4/20)
Gabriel Ynoa (P) – 10-day disabled list (3/26) – stress reaction from shin splints

Machado – Dave Reginek/Getty Images

O’S NOTES

In what very likely is the final year in Baltimore in the career of young superstar Manny Machado, the 25-year-old is off to another good start. He has hit in seven straight games, hitting .379 in that span. He went 6-for-12 in the Orioles’ last series against the Tigers and had a three-hit game in the finale Thursday, hitting a double, two homers, and four RBI. He has driven in runs in four of his last six games. On the year, he is slashing .338/.414/.623 with seven doubles, five homers, and 14 RBI.

He is 8-for-12 (.667) in his career against Bauer with two doubles, three homers, and four RBI. He has also drawn four walks. He has two singles and two walks in eight plate appearances against Clevinger.

Trey Mancini has hit in seven straight for the O’s. The 26-year-old from the Indians’ old home in Winter Haven, Florida, has hit .333 in that span with ten hits, including three doubles and a solo homer.

Pedro Alvarez is off to a good start for Baltimore this season. He is hitting .290/.436/.548 through 15 games with two doubles, two homers, seven RBI, and eight walks.

Adam Jones is second on the team in RBI with a dozen. He has seven strikeouts in 17 career plate appearances against Kluber. His three hits (.176 average) off of him have all been singles. He has just two hits in 13 plate appearances (.167) against Carrasco with a single, a homer, and two RBI.

Chris Davis is 2-for-10 (.200) against Bauer in his career with five strikeouts in eleven plate appearances. He has struck out seven times in 16 plate appearances against Kluber with just one double (.071 average). He is 0-for-6 against Carrasco with a walk and two strikeouts.

The Orioles offense leads all of baseball with 210 strikeouts in 19 games. Their bats have the second-worst batting average and on-base percentage in the American League, better than only the Cleveland Indians.

TRIBE BY THE NUMBERS

Francisco Lindor’s modest four-game hitting streak came to an end with seven hitless plate appearances in the finale from Puerto Rico on Wednesday. In his last five games, he has hit .320 with four doubles, two homers, and seven RBI, boosting his batting average from .159 to .217 in that span.

Lindor – Ricardo Arduengo/Getty Images

Yonder Alonso has hit safely in his last five games, with single hits in each contest. He has pushed his season batting average up 29 points in that span while driving in four of his nine runs batted in this season.

Bradley Zimmer has a six-game hitting streak coming into the series. He is batting .429 in that span with two doubles, a homer, two RBI, and a stolen base with just three strikeouts in 22 plate appearances. The streak is the second-longest of his career, trailing an eight-gamer that ran through the final day of July last year.

The eight current Indians to hit against Bundy have combined for a .296 average with three doubles, a homer, and two RBI. Jason Kipnis has three hits in six plate appearances and is responsible for the home run. Edwin Encarnacion has doubled in four plate appearances against Bundy with a walk and an RBI.

Encarnacion has seen Tillman plenty from his days with the Blue Jays. He owns a .290/.328/.532 lifetime slash against the right-hander with 18 hits in 67 plate appearances. He has three doubles, four homers, four walks, and seven RBI against him.

Three of Kipnis’ four career hits against Tillman have fallen in for extra bases (one double, two homers) and have led to four RBI.

Encarnacion is 1-for-19 (.053) against Gausman in his career with seven strikeouts in 21 total plate appearances.

HEADING HOME

With their short six-game road trip completed, the Indians will return home to Progressive Field to start a short two-game set with the Chicago Cubs before hosting the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays during their eleven-game homestand. The Orioles will continue their ten-game homestand on Tuesday with three against the Tampa Bay Rays before three more with the Detroit Tigers.

Photo: Rich Schultz/Getty Images

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