Indians fall to Orioles 7-3, split four-game series
Baltimore five runs in the fifth proves disastrous for Tribe
Indians starter Corey Kluber entered Thursday’s ballgame with a 3-0 record giving up four runs in his last three starts.
A surging Orioles offense would change all that in one inning, scoring five runs in the fifth inning to defeat the Tribe, 7-3.
With the loss, Cleveland (40-38) splits the four-game series with Baltimore as they remain 2 1/2 games in back of the first place Detroit Tigers in the Central Division.
Offensively, the Indians grabbed the early lead in the second inning on a solo blast by third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. His fourth long ball of the season would land well over the right field wall at Camden Yards and onto Eutaw Street.
Two innings later in the fourth, “The Chiz Kid” struck again, this time tying the game up at two with an RBI double off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez(6-3, 3.77 ERA). The Baltimore right-hander held the upper hand throughout the game, limiting the Wahoo’s to three runs on nine hits though 6 2/3 innings.
Finishing the game a triple shy of the cycle going 3-for-4 with two RBI, Chisenhall becomes just the fifth Tribe player ever to hit a home run on Baltimore’s most beloved street.
The street to a victory for the Orioles didn’t look as easy early on, as Tribe starter Corey Kluber (6-5, 4.16 ERA) yielded the O’s to just a two- run base hit by second baseman Ryan Flaherty though the first four innings.
With the game tied at two, shortstop Mike Aviles put Cleveland up by one on his fifth home run to lead off the fifth inning, snapping his 1-for-21 skid at the plate.
Then, disaster would strike for Kluber and the Indians in the bottom half of the inning, as Baltimore scored five runs on six hits capped off by Matt Weiters two-run double to give the O’s a 6-3 lead.
Kluber did have a chance to limit the damage prior to the offensive onslaught, but could not get any help from his team defensively. After an RBI single by Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis tied the game at three with one out in the inning, early A.L. MVP candidate Chris Davis hit into what looked to be an inning ending double play. Aviles would miss tagging second base and his throw was two late in time to get Davis at first.
The Tribe offense fell flat like Kluber after the big inning, as the team would collect just two hits over the final five innings of the game.
Mother Nature tried to help the Cleveland regroup with a one hour and 18 minute rain delay at the start of the bottom of the seventh, but the team couldn’t overcome the five run Baltimore fifth.
The Indians now fall to just 8-26 when scoring three runs or less, as they went just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Cleveland will hope for better luck on Friday, as they play the Chicago White Sox in a traditional doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field.
Game one will feature Tribe top prospect Trevor Bauer (1-2, 2.76 ERA) against left-hander Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.03 ERA) at 5:10 p.m. Following the conclusion of game one, the second game will have Carlos Carrasco (0-3, 7.78 ERA) versus Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.83 ERA) at roughly 8:40 p.m. The Indians are 3-2 against the Pale Hose in five games this year.
Notes: Prior to Thursday’s game with the Orioles, the Indians activated closer Chris Perez from the 15-day DL and optioned T.J. House back to Triple-A Columbus….Cleveland also traded infielder John McDonald to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later. McDonald batted was designated for assignment on Wednesday to make room for Asdrubal Cabrera on the 25-man roster.
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