Déjà Vu; Orioles 13, Indians 0
Bob Toth | On 29, Jun 2019
The final score in the headline is no typo. For the second straight day, the Baltimore Orioles, Major League Baseball’s worst team thus far in 2019, shut out the Cleveland Indians by an identical 13-0 final.
Zach Plesac was roughed up for seven runs, including six in the fourth inning before being chased. The Indians offense was silenced by right-hander Andrew Cashner, who was initially scratched from the day’s start before a rain delay prior to first pitch changed that plan. He allowed just three hits over seven scoreless as the Orioles claimed a series win and back-to-back victories for the first time since early May.
The O’s struck for first blood in the second against the Tribe’s rookie right-hander. Plesac plunked Chance Sisco with one out. The Baltimore catcher moved to second on a groundout by Anthony Santander and scored with ease on a double to center by Hanser Alberto to make it a 1-0 game.
Cashner set down the Indians in order through each of the first three innings before the Orioles threatened again in the third. Jonathan Villar walked with one out and moved to third on a Trey Mancini single. Renato Nunez walked with two outs to load the bases, but Plesac dodged a bullet by striking out Sisco.
Baltimore broke the game open for good in the bottom of the fourth and sent Plesac to an early shower. Santander homered to Eutaw Street to start the inning, the 100th homer to reach the street since the opening of Camden Yards in 1992. Alberto was hit by a pitch and Keon Broxton singled to center. A sacrifice by Richie Martin put the pair in scoring position. Back-to-back doubles from Villar and Mancini drove in three more runs to make it 5-0 and after a groundout by Dwight Smith Jr., Nunez made it 7-0 with a two-run homer to left-center. That was the final blow for Plesac, as Tribe skipper Terry Francona made the walk to the mound for Tyler Clippard, who got the ninth man to bat in the inning, Sisco, to pop to third.
Clippard pitched himself into a mess in the fifth as the Orioles tacked on two more. With two outs, Clippard walked Broxton, hit Martin, and walked Villar to load the bases. Mancini drove in two more with a single to center, making it a 9-0 score. A.J. Cole came on for the second straight game and got the final out of the inning.
The Indians got their second hit of the day against Cashner on a leadoff single by Kevin Plawecki, but he moved no further than first as the next three were retired. Baltimore responded to the Cleveland offense outburst with two more runs off of Cole in the sixth, as Nunez walked to lead off the inning before Sisco homered for the second straight game to make it 11-0.
Cleveland got its final hit off of Cashner in the top of the seventh, when Kipnis doubled to left with one out. Tyler Naquin flied out to center and Bobby Bradley struck out swinging to leave his stranded.
Utility man Mike Freeman came on in the eighth inning for the Indians in mop-up duty on the mound. He retired the first batter that he faced before Smith Jr. doubled and Nunez homered to left to make it 13-0. Freeman retired the next five in order to cap his second big league pitching experience (he pitched one inning for Seattle in 2017).
The Indians threatened briefly against Baltimore left-hander Tanner Scott in the eighth. Plawecki got his second hit of the day with one out in the inning and Francisco Lindor singled with two outs, but Oscar Mercado struck out swinging with two on base. The Tribe went down in order in the ninth to end the ball game.
With back-to-back losses, the Indians are now 44-38 on the season and 19-20 away from home. They trailed the Minnesota Twins by nine games in the American League Central. The Orioles moved to 24-58 on the year. They became the first team in Major League history to throw consecutive shutouts with at least 13 runs scored in each contest.
“They hit better than us. They played better than us. They pitched better than us. They managed better than us,” Francona said. “This game will make you laugh sometimes and it will make you shake your head. Sometimes it will make you cry.”
While Plesac had a rough start overall, he did manage to pick off his fourth base runner of the year after Villar led off the home half of the first with a walk. Plesac went three and two-thirds, allowing seven runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Unlike his counterpart Cashner, who was initially scratched and did not warm up prior to the rain delay, Plesac warmed up and then stopped before having to ramp it back up again. The Cleveland bullpen gave up six runs in four and one-third innings of work.
Cashner moved to 8-3 on the year with a dominating quality start for the O’s. He worked seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and a walk while striking out six. He threw 98 pitches, 64 for strikes, and kept the ball on the ground for much of the day.
The Indians will look to avoid a sweep in Baltimore in the series finale on Sunday. The Orioles will send out right-hander Gabriel Ynoa (0-5, 6.75 ERA), while the Indians will counter with Shane Bieber (6-3, 3.83).
First pitch from Oriole Park at Camden Yards is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET on Sunday.
Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images