CLEVELAND (AP) — Adam Plutko, making his first appearance of the season, allowed one run in six innings— a solo homer by Trey Mancini for Baltimore’s only hit— and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Orioles 4-1 on Saturday.
Plutko, called up from Triple-A Columbus before the game, gave up the home run to Mancini with two outs in the fourth. The right-hander struck out four, walked two and was pulled after throwing 83 pitches.
Cleveland used three relievers to finish it. Oliver Perez struck out three of the four hitters he faced. Adam Cimber retired a batter in the eighth, but a fielding error by third baseman Jose Ramirez and a walk put two runners on.
Brad Hand struck out Jonathan Villar to end the inning and worked the ninth for his 12th save in 12 chances.
Baltimore managed four baserunners on three walks and Ramirez’s error.
Jordan Luplow and Carlos Santana homered for Cleveland, extending Baltimore’s major-league-leading total of home runs allowed to 93.
Luplow hit a two-run homer in the fourth off John Means (5-4). The home run landed in the left field bleachers and followed Santana’s double for Cleveland’s first hit. Luplow, batting cleanup for the second time this season, has five home runs — all since May 9.
Santana hit a leadoff homer in the eighth off Miguel Castro.
The Indians were batting .223 at gametime and were held to three hits by Baltimore on Friday in a 5-1 loss. Cleveland rolled to a 14-7 win in the series opener Thursday and scored nine runs against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.
Means allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. The rookie left-hander won four of his previous five starts.
Plutko was 4-5 in 17 appearances with Cleveland last season. He was optioned to the minors at the end of spring training and didn’t pitch in April because of a strained forearm. He made two starts for Columbus before being called up to help Cleveland’s injury-depleted rotation.
Corey Kluber broke his right arm after being hit by a line drive in April and will be re-evaluated later this month. Mike Clevinger strained an upper back muscle in the second week of the season and could return in June.
Mancini drove a 1-0 pitch to the porch in left field for his team-leading 10th home run of the season and second in the series.
Oscar Mercado, called up from Columbus on Wednesday, doubled in the fifth for his first major league hit.
Orioles: RHP Yefry Ramirez (0-1, 5.14 ERA) moves into the rotation after making his first three 2019 appearances in relief.
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (2-2, 3.81 ERA) seeks his first home win of the year. He is 0-1 with a 4.43 ERA in four starts at Progressive Field.