Big Day from Ramirez Gives Kluber and Tribe a Win; Indians 7, Orioles 3

The Cleveland Indians celebrated manager Terry Francona’s 59th birthday with a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, but it did not come easy, despite Corey Kluber being on the mound for the Tribe.

The Indians ace did not look quite like his usual self, but he gave Cleveland seven quality innings and kept the game close enough. With the way the offense has been performing this season, that could have been a concern, but the Indians bats came to life with more of the long ball and finally delivered with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first, as Manny Machado continued his tear at the plate by turning a 2-0 Kluber sinker into a laser beam to left for a two-out solo shot to give Baltimore a 1-0 lead.

Andrew Cashner was on the bump for the Orioles and breezed through the first two innings, recording four strikeouts along the way, before working around a jam in the third. Yan Gomes extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single to center to start the inning and Tyler Naquin hit what appeared to be a tailor-made double play ball to second, but Luis Sardinas misplayed it into a fielder’s choice and an error, putting two on for the number nine hitter, Rajai Davis. He successfully sacrificed both runners up, but the top of the order could not get things done as Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis were each retired on balls in the air to end the inning.

Ramirez – Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Indians opted to skip run production in the top of the fourth, at least initially. Jose Ramirez led things off against Cashner and found a fastball to his liking, putting a solid charge in the ball to clear the 21-foot wall in right for a game-tying solo shot. After a groundout by Michael Brantley, Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso tallied back-to-back doubles, with the latter driving in the second run of the inning to give the Indians a 2-1 lead and a rare hit with runners in scoring position. A line out and a swinging strikeout would tack on two more hitless at bats in that situation.

Kluber had retired eight straight batters after the Machado home run before the young Baltimore star returned to the plate with one out in the fourth. After seeing a fastball up and out of the zone, he sat on a curveball and jolted it to center to tie the game at two. The Orioles continued their rally as the next batter, Adam Jones, doubled to right and Chris Davis singled to right-center to score Jones to give the O’s a 3-2 edge.

The back-and-forth game would take another turn the next half inning as the Indians responded twice to reclaim the lead. Davis walked and moved to second on a wild pitch by Cashner. A single to center by Lindor drove in the tying run. After the first out of the inning, Ramirez walked to push Lindor into scoring position and Brantley delivered with an RBI-single to make it 4-3.

Kluber retired the side in order in the fifth and worked around a two-out single by Machado, his third hit of the game, in the sixth. In the seventh, with just one strikeout under his belt for the game, he struck out the side before turning the game over to the bullpen in the eighth after a leadoff single from the slumping Caleb Joseph.

Cashner stayed on through six innings before Miguel Castro took over for the seventh and eighth innings, giving up a hit in each inning. In the ninth, however, the Indians padded their lead by plenty against former All-Star right-hander Brad Brach. Kipnis singled to start the inning (extending his own hitting streak to eight games) and Ramirez found another fastball to his liking, clearing the big wall in right field again with his second homer of the afternoon. Alonso singled after back-to-back groundouts and scored all the way from first on a double to right by Gomes, his third hit of the day to extend the Indians’ advantage to 7-3.

Cody Allen, who got up to throw when it was still a save situation, worked the bottom of the ninth in the non-save spot, retiring the side in order while notching a strikeout.

The Indians moved to 11-8 on the season with the win and have now won three of their last five and eight of their last eleven. They are now one game under the .500 mark on the road this season. The Orioles fell to 6-16 on the year and just 3-6 at home.

Kluber – Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Kluber lasted seven-plus for the Indians on the mound while not quite collecting his usual stat line. He allowed three runs, all earned, on six hits (Machado accounted for half of the hits, as his three-hit day included a pair of solo home runs). Kluber threw 98 pitches, including 66 for strikes, and struck out four on the afternoon. It was good enough for his third win in five starts on the year.

Cashner put together a good outing but faltered late as the Indians fought back in the middle innings. He worked six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts on the day. He was hit with his third loss of the season.

The Indians’ issues at the plate were marginally better on Sunday, as the team went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position while stranding ten. The Orioles were 1-for-1 and left two men on base.

Both clubs were without an outfielder on Sunday. Bradley Zimmer was a late scratch for Cleveland with a mild right ankle sprain. The Orioles played without the services of Trey Mancini, who was again out of the lineup after needing stitches to close a cut on his right knee sustained during game one of the series on Friday.

The Indians will go for the series win on Monday in a 7:05 PM ET start from Oriole Park at Camden Yard. Right-handers Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57 ERA) and Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 2.60) will get the calls for their respective clubs in the final game between the two teams from Baltimore this season.

Gausman has had trouble with the homer, which has proved to be a big piece of the offensive effort from the Indians this season. He made a quality start his last time out, giving up a pair of solo shots to the Detroit Tigers in six innings of work. Carrasco was dealt a no-decision his last time out while pitching against the Minnesota Twins in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He worked seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk while striking out seven batters.

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Related Posts

Tribe Eliminated from ALDS in Embarrassing Fashion; Astros 11, Indians 3

A three-run seventh gave the Houston Astros their first lead of the day and a six-run eighth buried Chief Wahoo as the Cleveland Indians were swept out…

Bullpen Falters, Offense is Scarce as Tribe Pushed to Brink; Astros 3, Indians 1

On Friday, the story was the Astros hitting more homers alone than the Indians had total hits. That lack of offense again reared its head for the…

Homer Happy Astros Pummel Tribe Pitching for Game 1 Win; Astros 7, Indians 2

It is rarely a good sign when the opposing team has more homers than you have total hits, and that was the case for the Indians on…

Tribe Takes Home Win in Season Finale; Indians 2, Royals 1

In the final regular season tune up for the Cleveland Indians, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer combined for one-run, five-hit baseball in a 2-1 victory over the…

Bullpen Falters in Postseason Tune Up; Royals 9, Indians 4

The Cleveland Indians lost an inconsequential game on Saturday night, but could have lost much more after an injury to Yan Gomes led to several stitches. As…

Ten-Spot in Seventh Slams Tribe to Easy Victory; Indians 14, Royals 6

The Indians turned a tight 1-0 game into an eleven-run lead with a season-high ten-run inning in the seventh on Friday night on the way to a…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.