Pitching Leads Tribe to Series Win Over 1st Place Orioles

Series Result: Indians win series over Orioles 2-1

Game Results
Game 1: Cleveland 2 Baltimore 1 (11)
Game 2: Cleveland 6 Baltimore 0
Game 3: Baltimore 4 Cleveland 1

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Indians MVP
Carlos Carrasco
Carrasco was given another shot in the starting rotation and has run with it. In his game 2 start, he went 7 innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 5. Since the start of May, Carrasco has an ERA of 1.86 as he has split time in the bullpen and the starting rotation.

Indians LVP
Terry Francona
This goes purely towards his bullpen usage. Francona continues to over use guys and bring in inexperienced guys to pitch in critical situations in games.

Game 1: Aviles saves the day with walk off
The Baltimore Orioles came into Cleveland as one of the hottest teams in the league, as they sat atop the AL East standings. The Indians had the upper hand in this game though, as CY Young candidate Corey Kluber was on the mound. Kluber was his usual self in this one, going 7 2/3 innings, giving up a run on 5 hits, while striking out 10. What is left to say about Corey Kluber that already hasn’t been said, well, not much as is WAR of 5.7 ranks him as the 3rd best pitcher in the Majors. The Indians ended a 16 inning scoreless drought in the bottom of the 5th, when Zach Walters hit his second home run in a Tribe uniform to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. Earlier in his at-bat, Walters seemed to have pulled something, but coaxed Terry Francona to let him stay in the game, he proved he was healthy when he launched the ball over the left field wall. Kluber came back out for the 8th, and struck out Chris Davis, then got Adam Jones to groundout. Nelson Cruz singled to end Kluber’s day. On came Bryan Shaw in relief, who gave up a singled to Delmon Young, then gave up a RBI single to J.J. Hardy to tie the game at 1. While Shaw is to blame for ruining Kluber’s start, the offense has to shoulder an equal amount of blame, only being able to give Kluber one run in support. The game would go to the 11th inning, when up stepped Mike Aviles (who is batting .200 since the start of June). Aviles launched a 1-2 pitch on to the Home Run porch to give the Tribe the victory.

Game 2: Carrasco mows down O’s
Michael Bourn returned to the starting lineup after a month and half on the DL. Bourn started the game with a walk against a familiar pitcher. Ubaldo Jimenez took the mood for the Orioles for the first time in Cleveland in game 2, and looked like the Ubaldo Tribe fans had grown accustomed to. Jimenez has struggled in his first year with the O’s, as he is 4-9 with a 4.83 ERA, while leading the AL in walks. Jose Ramirez followed Bourn and walked as well, to give the Tribe runners at first and second with no outs. Michael Brantley flied out to bring Carlos Santana up to the plate. Santana launched a no-doubt bomb (437 feet) to dead center to give the Tribe an early 3-0 lead. Jimenez settled down after that, until the 5th inning, when Chris Dickerson doubled to lead off the inning. Michael Bourn sacrificed Dickerson to third, and then Jose Ramirez singled him in to give the Tribe a 4-0 lead. Ubaldo’s night ended when Michael Brantley launched his 18th home run of the season to right field to give the Tribe a 6-0 lead. However, with the way Carlos Carrasco was pitching, the Tribe would have only needed one run. Carrasco went 7 innings, only throwing 79 pitches. He allowed only 3 hits on the night, and struck out 5 batters. Carrasco has come into his own since returning to the rotation, throwing 12 innings, allowing 5 hits, 0 runs, and striking out 8. The combination of C.C. Lee, Nick Hagadone, and Bryan Shaw was able to hold down the lead, as the Tribe went on to win by a score of 6-0.

Game 3: Salazar shaky as O’s avoid sweep
The Indians sent Danny Salazar on the mound looking for the sweep against the Orioles. Things were looking good through 5 innings, as the Tribe held a 1-0, courtesy of a Jason Kipnis RBI single. Salazar came back out to pitch the 6th, but gave up a leadoff double to Steve Pearce, and then hit Adam Jones to end his day. Salazar pitched well in the game, but his 6th inning derailed his good start. Scott Atchison replaced Salazar, looking to stop the bleeding as he has done so many other times this season. However, “Old Man” Atchison just didn’t have it in this game. He was able to register the first two outs in the inning, but gave up a RBI single to J.J. Hardy, which tied the game at 1. Up next was Chris Davis (who was a human wind machine all series, racking up 6 strikeouts), who was able to beat the shift for an opposite field double to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. In the 7th, the Orioles added insurance against C.C. Lee, with a Steve Pearce solo home run, and then again in the 9th, with a Jonathan Schoop solo home run to give the O’s a 4-1 lead. The Indians had their chances early in the game to extend their lead, but could never capitalize. Once the Orioles took the lead, their bullpen was able to shut down the Tribe offense, as the O’s avoided the sweep.

Up Next: The Tribe travels to Minnesota to face off against the last place Twins for a 3 game series.

–Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

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