Orioles use 8th-inning run to beat Indians 4-3
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles struck out 10 times against Corey Kluber, trailed twice during the first six innings blew the lead in the eighth.
And still, they found a way to beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 Friday night.
Chris Davis singled in the tiebreaking run, J.J. Hardy homered and Jimmy Paredes had three hits and scored twice for the Orioles, who have won five of six to move a season-high five games over .500 (39-34).
The hitting was important. Just as significant was the performance of starter Wei-Yin Chen, who helped Baltimore to keep it close despite of all those strikeouts.
“You’ve got to have a well-pitched game to compete against Kluber. He’s that good,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Chen allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings after being recalled before the game from a brief stint in the minor leagues. The left-hander departed with a 3-2 lead, but the bullpen couldn’t make it stand up.
Kluber allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings, yet the right-hander received poor offensive support — as has been the case for much of the season. It took an eighth-inning solo homer by Carlos Santana for the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner to avoid losing a fifth straight start and absorbing his 10th defeat.
“I don’t really care about the numbers other than our team’s win-loss record,” Kluber said.
Brandon Moss and Ryan Raburn also homered for the Indians, and American League batting leader Jason Kipnis extended his career-best hitting streak to 20 games with an infield single — his AL-leading 100th hit of the season.
After Santana connected off Darren O’Day (5-0) to tie it 3-3, the Orioles needed only two pitches to regain the lead in the bottom half. Paredes greeted Marc Rzepczynski (1-3) with a double and Davis followed with a single to right. Hardy singled on the next pitch, ending Rzepczynski’s stint.
“That’s kind of a weird night,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He was trying to get ahead of the first hitter, and before you know it, it’s a double. And the next two pitches were actually OK. That’s a tough night.”
Baltimore trailed 1-0 and 2-1 before giving up the 3-2 advantage.
“We pulled ahead, lost it, were able to bounce back and grinded a win out,” second baseman Ryan Flaherty said.
Baltimore rallied against Kluber in the sixth. Paredes singled, took third on a double by Chris Parmelee and scored without a throw on a sacrifice fly by Hardy. Flaherty followed with a bloop single to score Parmelee for a 3-2 lead.
Earlier, all the scoring came via the long ball.
After Moss put the Indians ahead with a homer in the second, Hardy responded with a bases-empty drive in the bottom half. It was Hardy’s third home run of the season, the first since May 15.
Kluber had seven strikeouts through three innings. Raburn led off the fourth by hitting a 2-2 pitch into the left-field seats.
SWING AND A MISS
Indians: It was Kluber’s fifth start with 10 or more strikeouts this season and 18th such start of his career. Kluber has 29 strikeouts in his last three starts against the Orioles over 21 2/3 innings.
Orioles: Baltimore batters have struck out 10 or more times in 20 games this season, and entered Friday with the fifth-most strikeouts in the AL.
Indians: DH/OF Nick Swisher (left knee inflammation) participated in what Francona termed “position specific” speed and agility drills in the outfield Friday. No timetable has been set for Swisher’s return from a DL stint that began retroactively on June 14.
Orioles: CF Adam Jones tested his sore right shoulder by throwing Friday. If he’s sore on Saturday, he’s a candidate for the DL, Showalter said. Jones has missed eight of the last 10 games and five in a row.
Indians: RHP Cody Anderson makes his second major league appearance Saturday night in the middle game of the series. In his debut, Anderson blanked Tampa Bay over 7 2/3 innings but was not involved in the decision.
Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman seeks to put a dent in his unsightly 6.22 ERA. He beat Cleveland on June 5.