Indians look to take series in Baltimore

Indians look to take series in Baltimore

The Cleveland Indians have been carried by some stellar starting pitching and can take three of four games against the slumping Baltimore Orioles in the series finale Monday at Camden Yards.

Cleveland’s rotation, consisting of 2017 Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco, has been dominant. Clevinger pitched a shutout Saturday and Kluber followed with his third straight win Sunday.

The team’s bats are also starting to come around.

“We kept pushing and took some better swings,” Indians manager Terry Francona said about the offense. “When we hit the ball the other way, we almost get more dangerous.”

Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez has been one of the hottest hitters in the series and has homered three times in the past two games. He leads the Indians with seven home runs on the year.

“I try not to do too much,” Ramirez said. “I just look for a good pitch and then I hit it somewhere.”

Carrasco (3-0, 3.48 ERA) takes the mound for the finale. Carrasco won his first three starts before getting a no-decision in a 2-1 loss to Minnesota on April 16 in Puerto Rico. He allowed just three hits over seven scoreless innings. Carrasco struck out seven and walked just one batter.

Carrasco is 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA in five career games (four starts) against Baltimore.

The Orioles, who have lost nine of 10 and are 10 games under .500, will counter with Kevin Gausman (1-1, 6.60). After a slow start, the right-hander has pitched better in his last two outings.

Gausman allowed just two runs and nine hits with four strikeouts and no walks over six innings April 18 against the Tigers. He credited the recent success to altering his delivery where he brings his hands over his head during his windup

“I was doing my dry throws and started messing around with it and it felt really good,” said Gausman, who is 2-2 with a 2.53 ERA in four career games, including three starts, against Cleveland. “Felt like I was landing in the same spot every time and like I was really reaching toward home plate.”

Orioles shortstop Manny Machado has carried the offense and he homered twice on Sunday against Kluber. Machado has eight home runs on the season.

The Orioles received some good news on the injury front with Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) ready for a rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie this week.

“He’s going to play three games in Bowie. I know that for sure,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “And the schedule calls for him to play three more with Norfolk. There’s some chances he’ll need more than that. This guy hasn’t had a spring training, you know? And that requires him being OK from a physical standpoint.”

Outfielder Trey Mancini is also making progress with right knee injury. It appears Mancini will avoid a trip to the DL.

“Trey is better,” Showalter said. “I think that’s heading in the right direction. We had that quick turnaround, didn’t expect him to be (ready), then 1 o’clock today. But he’s trending in the right direction.

Indians center fielder Bradley Zimmer was scratched from lineup less than an hour from the first pitch Sunday with right ankle sprain. Rajai Davis replaced him and went 0 for 2. Zimmer could be back in the lineup Monday, Francona said.

Ramirez homers twice as Indians top Orioles

Ramirez homers twice as Indians top Orioles

Jose Ramirez homered twice, and Michael Brantley drove in the go-ahead run with a fifth-inning single as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.

Cleveland (11-8) now has won the last two games after dropping the first in this four-game series. The injury-riddled Orioles (6-16) have lost eight of their last nine

Ramirez hit a solo homer and a two-run shot and finished with three RBIs. He went 2-for-4 in the win.

Corey Kluber (3-1) earned the victory for Cleveland, allowing three runs in seven innings. He gave up two solo homers to Manny Machado – who now has eight this season – but mostly kept the struggling Baltimore offense quiet.

Andrew Cashner (1-3) took the loss after giving up four runs in six innings.

Machado gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead with his first homer, which came in the first.

The Indians took a 2-1 edge in the fourth thanks to the Ramirez solo homer plus an RBI double from Yonder Alonso.

Baltimore answered with two runs in the bottom of that inning thanks to the second Machado homer and a Chris Davis RBI single.

However, the Indians came right back with two runs in the fifth. Francisco Lindor tied it with a single, and Brantley gave Cleveland the lead for good at 4-3 with his RBI single.

Cleveland then broke the game open against Brad Brach in the ninth when Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Yan Gomes added an RBI double.

Both teams were affected by injuries a bit. Mark Trumbo has been out for the entire season (right quadriceps) but is going on a rehab assignment this week to Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.

Trey Mancini‘s right knee was feeling better before the game, and manager Buck Showalter still would not commit to a return date just yet. Closer Zach Britton again threw off of a half-mound Sunday and fared well.

For Cleveland, Bradley Zimmer was in the original lineup playing in center field and batting ninth. Instead, an ankle sprain forced him out with Rajai Davis going into the same spot.

Also, Josh Tomlin (back problems) could be coming back to the rotation vs. the Cubs this week.

–Field Level Media

Ramirez hits 2 HRs to lift Kluber, Indians past Orioles 7-3

Ramirez hits 2 HRs to lift Kluber, Indians past Orioles 7-3

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Cleveland Indian’s Edwin Encarnacion is congratulated after scoring on a double by Yonder Alonso against the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth inning of baseball game, Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Jose Ramirez homered twice and drove in three runs, Corey Kluber won his third straight start and the Cleveland Indians beat the struggling Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Sunday.

Ramirez hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run drive in the ninth. He has three homers in two games and a team-leading seven for the season.

Kluber (3-1) allowed three runs and six hits over seven-plus innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner walked none and struck out four to move past Charles Nagy into sixth place on Indians’ career strikeout list with 1,238.

Manny Machado hit two solo homers for Baltimore, his third multihomer game this season. But it wasn’t enough to prevent the Orioles from losing for the ninth time in 10 games, a skid that has dropped them 10 games under .500 (6-16).

Andrew Cashner (1-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven. He’s 0-3 with 7.41 ERA in three lifetime appearances against the Indians.

Cleveland went up 2-1 in the fourth when Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso hit successive doubles following a leadoff homer by Ramirez.

Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. After Machado homered, Adam Jones doubled and scored on a single by Chris Davis.

A pair of walks and run-scoring singles by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley put the Indians up 4-3 in the fifth.

Yan Gomes had three of Cleveland’s 14 hits and doubled in a run in the ninth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: CF Bradley Zimmer was a late scratch with a mild right ankle sprain. He was replaced by Rajai Davis.

Orioles: LF Trey Mancini missed a second straight game with a swollen right knee. … DH Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) will begin a three-game stint with Double-A Bowie on Monday, then play three games with Triple-A Norfolk later in the week, manager Buck Showalter said. He won’t be rushed to return. ”It’s important we get it right the first time,” Showalter said.

WELL RESTED

Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin threw a side session Saturday and is expected to start Tuesday against the Cubs. Manager Terry Francona opted to skip Tomlin’s last scheduled start Wednesday to reset the rotation after Cleveland had two straight games postponed last weekend.

UP NEXT

Indians: Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 3.48 ERA) starts the series finale Monday night. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27.

Orioles: Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57) makes his fifth start of the season after allowing 27 hits – including six homers – over 21 innings.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Indians aim for two in a row against Orioles

Indians aim for two in a row against Orioles

Corey Kluber will try and give the Cleveland Indians a second consecutive victory over the slumping Baltimore Orioles when the teams meet in the third game of their series on Sunday at Camden Yards.

The teams have split the first two matchups of the four-game series. Baltimore won Friday before the Indians bounced back for a 4-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Kluber has a 2-1 record and a 1.52 ERA. He has a 2-1 career record and a 2.76 ERA against the Orioles (6-15).

He last pitched when the Indians (10-8) played the Twins in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, picking up the victory as the Indians beat the Twins 6-1. Kluber allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings in that game.

The veteran is likely hoping the Indians can swing more like they’ve done in the past few seasons. They showed some of that offense on Saturday with solo homers from Yan Gomes, Jose Ramirez (who finished with three hits) and Yonder Alonso against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman.

None of those three are batting higher than .221, though, but the Indians are trying to remain patient.

“As players, we all want results,” Jason Kipnis of the Indians told Cleveland.com. “We all take solace in the process part, where we have good at-bats and good swings. But just like any fan or coaching staff, we know we want results, too.”

The Orioles also want to see results at the plate, and right-hander Andrew Cashner could use some support. He has pitched well so far, but like Dylan Bundy does not have much to show for it.

Cashner (1-2, 3.00 ERA) has given the Orioles three consecutive good starts, something the team has needed in the early days of the season. However, Cashner has not done well against Cleveland in his career, posting an 0-2 record plus a 9.90 ERA in two games.

Baltimore has scored only three runs in the first two games of the series but also is missing players like Trey Mancini, Mark Trumbo and Jonathan Schoop to injuries, which is hurting the lineup.

The Orioles got just two hits in the loss Saturday as right-hander Mike Clevinger retired the final 15 Baltimore hitters for his first complete game.

“There was very little margin for error for (Tillman),” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We hit a couple of balls hard, but that’s about it.”

On the injury front for the Orioles, Mancini did not play after injuring his right knee while sliding to try and catch a foul ball Friday night. Showalter said an MRI done Saturday was fine, and they will see how Mancini feels Sunday.

Mancini had a CT scan and also a few stitches were put in. Craig Gentry took over as the leadoff hitter for the Orioles, a job Mancini had done well in recent days.

Zach Britton (Achilles tendon surgery) told the media Saturday that he felt good after throwing off a half-mound for the first time Friday. He did more workouts Saturday, and Showalter expects him to throw off the half-mound again, possibly Sunday.

Mark Trumbo (right quadriceps) could go on another rehab assignment in the next few days. He tried one at Double-A Bowie recently, but it was shut down quickly.

Clevinger tosses 2-hitter to carry Indians past Orioles 4-0

Clevinger tosses 2-hitter to carry Indians past Orioles 4-0

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Cleveland Indians’ Michael Brantley hits a sacrifice ground ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Baltimore. Jason Kipnis scored on the play. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Mike Clevinger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.

Clevinger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days’ rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.

The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.

It was Clevinger’s 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.

While Clevinger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.

Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.

Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevinger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: LHP Ryan Merritt (left knee sprain) is on the brink of completing extended spring training in Arizona and moving to the next phase of the rehabilitative process. ”He’s starting to feel pretty good,” manager Terry Francona said.

Orioles: OF Trey Mancini was sidelined with a swollen right knee, an injury he sustained Friday night by sliding into the wall in foul territory chasing a ball. A CT scan came back clean, but Mancini received stitches and will be sidelined for a few days. … LHP Zach Britton completed fielding drills for the first time since he tore his right Achilles tendon in December. The closer hopes to return in June.

UP NEXT

Indians: Defending AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (2-1, 1.52 ERA) seeks to win his third straight start Sunday. In his last appearance against Baltimore, Kluber tossed a three-hit shutout last June.

Orioles: Andrew Cashner (1-2, 3.00) makes his fourth start with Baltimore. He’s 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA in two career starts vs. Cleveland.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

This story corrects the spelling of the name Clevinger

Bundy sharp as Orioles beat Indians 3-1 to end 6-game skid

Bundy sharp as Orioles beat Indians 3-1 to end 6-game skid

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Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis throws to first base for a double play after forcing out Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado on Adam Jones’ grounder during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, April 20, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Dylan Bundy pitched six innings of five-hit ball and struck out nine to secure his elusive first win of the season, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 Friday night to end a six-game losing streak.

Manny Machado homered and Trey Mancini doubled in two runs for the Orioles, who were outscored 43-22 during an 0-6 trip through Boston and Detroit.

Bundy (1-2) came in with a 1.40 ERA after allowing only four earned runs in four starts while being victimized by a lack of run support. In this one, Baltimore did just enough damage against Trevor Bauer (1-2) to get Bundy his first victory since Aug. 29.

Richard Bleier worked two innings – aided by a fine defensive play by Machado at shortstop – and Darren O’Day got three outs for his first save.

After Cleveland jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Machado tied it in the fourth with his sixth home run.

Mancini put the Orioles in front in the fifth with a liner to the gap in left-center after Bauer hit a batter and gave up a single.

Bauer allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. He retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced before Machado sent a 3-0 pitch over the center-field wall.

After Orioles catcher Chance Sisco misjudged a foul pop that landed near the Baltimore dugout, Jason Kipnis used the second chance to hit a single in the first. The Indians then loaded the bases before Bundy hit Edwin Encarnacion with a pitch to force in a run.

In the second, Cleveland’s Tyler Naquin hit a popup that landed in fair territory about 20 feet up the third base line. Fortunately for the Orioles, third baseman Tim Beckham grabbed it after it bounced foul.

But Baltimore played solid defense when it counted. With two on and two outs in the seventh, Machado made a dive deep in the hole to grab a grounder by Jose Ramirez, then used a backhand toss to get the force at second base.

Michael Brantley had two hits for the Indians, his career-high tying fifth straight multihit game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: 1B Mike Napoli will have season-ending knee surgery after getting hurt in the minors. … RHP Danny Salazar (rotator cuff tendinitis) is throwing bullpen sessions. “We’re cautiously optimistic he’s turned a corner,” manager Terry Francona said. … INF Gio Urshela (right hamstring strain) went 1 for 3 for Triple-A Columbus and is now 2 for 10 on his rehabilitation assignment.

Orioles: Mancini left in the eighth after banging his knee against the wall during a futile chase of a foul ball. … DH Mark Trumbo (right quad strain) ran Friday and said he felt “completely pain free.” Trumbo hopes to soon resume the rehabilitative assignment that was cut short earlier this month. … LHP Zach Britton (Achilles tendon) threw off a half-mound and will begin fielding drills Saturday. … 2B Jonathan Schoop (oblique) “is making good progress, little by little,” manager Buck Showalter said.

FRESH ARM

The Orioles recharged their weary bullpen by recalling LHP Tanner Scott from Triple-A Norfolk and optioning INF Engelb Vielma to the minor league club.

UMBC HONORED

One month after becoming the first No. 16 seed to win a basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, the Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) squad assembled near the mound to hearty cheers before the game. Coach Ryan Odom threw the ceremonial first pitch.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger (1-0, 2.70 ERA) pitches Saturday on seven days’ rest. Clevinger was 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts against Baltimore last season.

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (0-3, 11.91) has gone 21 straight starts since his last victory on May 7, 2017.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball