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Cleveland (10-4) «02400020x8131

Red-hot Indians send Orioles to sixth straight loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- The missed chances are piling up. The losses are too.

The Baltimore Orioles are not doing the little things it takes to win, and unless that changes quickly, their impressive start will be for naught.

The Orioles lost their sixth straight game on Saturday, 8-3 to the Cleveland Indians, and fell under .500 for the first time this season. After opening 4-0, Baltimore has lost seven of nine and its offensive struggles are getting worse.

Their big hitters aren't coming up big, and the Orioles went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Twice they had chances to cut into Cleveland's lead but failed to come up with a clutch hit.

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"We had opportunities we didn't take advantage of," manager Buck Showalter said. "I'll dwell on that a little bit. It's been a challenge for us. We'll get better at that."

Other than solo homers by Jake Fox and Luke Scott, the Orioles did little against Josh Tomlin (3-0), who gave up six hits in six innings. Baltimore's 2-3-4 hitters, Nick Markakis, Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, went a combined 2 for 14 with four strikeouts.

Shin-Soo Choo homered off Jeremy Guthrie (1-2) and Orlando Cabrera had four RBI for the Indians, who are 10-4 and off to their best start in nine years. Travis Hafner and Travis Buck had three hits apiece.

The Orioles' slide is the club's longest since Showalter took over as manager on Aug. 3. Baltimore has scored just 15 runs during the skid.

Still, Showalter is trying to stay upbeat. The last thing he wants is for his team to lose whatever confidence it may have left.

"It's not the gloom and doom everybody makes it out to be," Showalter said.

Tomlin won the only open spot in Cleveland's rotation during spring training, and the right-hander has shown no signs he'll give it up. He coasted through the first few innings, allowing only the two homers before working in and out of a tricky situation in the fifth.

He gave up a leadoff homer to Scott that made it 6-2 and then made an error on Adam Jones' bunt. The Orioles eventually loaded the bases with one out, but Tomlin got Brian Roberts to pop out and retired Markakis on a groundout.

The Orioles made it 6-3 in the seventh on Roberts' RBI single, but failed to push more than one run across despite having runners at first and third with none out. Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano got Markakis to hit into a double play and struck out Lee to preserve Cleveland's three-run lead.

Cabrera made it swell to five in the seventh with his second homer.

Fox homered in the third, but as he watched the ball sail over the left-field wall, he tripped over first base and had to go back and touch the bag before trotting around the bases.

Fox said if the Orioles are going to lose some games, now's the time to do it.

"You might as well get it out of the way early," Fox said. "In this period of time every year, you go through a little bit of a tough time. We keep reminding ourselves that we've got 162 games and we're going to keep playing hard and sooner or later things will fall into place."

As has been the case during their fast start, the Indians scored early. They took a 2-0 lead in the second off Guthrie on Cabrera's groundout and Matt LaPorta's RBI double. Guthrie, though, minimized the damage by striking out Jake Hannahan and Michael Brantley with runners at second and third.

Guthrie couldn't do much to stop the Indians in the third.

Cleveland scored four runs off the right-hander, who had gone 2-0 in four previous starts against his former team.

"Outs was the biggest thing I was missing, especially in the third inning," said Guthrie, who recently had a bout with pneumonia. "Not getting the third out wasn't working out too well for me. I was always one pitch away, but I never quite got it."

Notes

  • Steady rain followed by a thunderstorm delayed the start of the game for two hours, three minutes.
  • Scott made a sliding catch in the left-field corner to rob Choo of extra bases in the seventh, and Jones made a leaping catch at the center-field wall in front of Cleveland's bullpen to steal a double or better from Brantley in the fourth.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Indians were the first team in AL history to win eight straight games after starting 0-2.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Shin-Soo Choo connects for a solo home run in the third inning as the Indians move toward another win. (AP)
Shin-Soo Choo connects for a solo home run in the third inning as the Indians move toward another win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

O. Cabrera
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Baltimore

J. Fox
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brian Roberts, 2B5011003 .232
Nick Markakis, RF5000005 .220
Derrek Lee, 1B5010032 .224
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4010011 .259
Luke Scott, LF4111012 .222
Adam Jones, CF4010011 .204
Mark Reynolds, 3B3010102 .256
Jake Fox, C4221004 .182
Robert Andino, SS3020100 .154
Totals37310326  
Batting
3B - Jake Fox (1, Pestano)
HR - Luke Scott (1, Tomlin), Jake Fox (1, Tomlin)
RBI - Brian Roberts (11), Luke Scott (2), Jake Fox (1)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Jakubauskas-Andino-Lee
PB - Jake Fox 2 (2)
E - Derrek Lee (1, Missed catch of throw)
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Guthrie (L,1-2) 51066121 3.32
Chris Jakubauskas 1100010 7.36
Mike Gonzalez 1222011 10.38
Jason Berken 1000000 1.42
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Guthrie 98-60, Chris Jakubauskas 15-11, Mike Gonzalez 29-18, Jason Berken 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Guthrie 6-7, Chris Jakubauskas 1-0, Jason Berken 1-3
Batters Faced - Jeremy Guthrie 26, Chris Jakubauskas 3, Mike Gonzalez 5, Jason Berken 4
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Brantley, CF5000024 .302
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS5010002 .293
Shin-Soo Choo, RF4111001 .226
Carlos Santana, C3100101 .191
Travis Hafner, DH4230000 .333
Orlando Cabrera, 2B4324000 .288
Travis Buck, LF4131010 .231
Matt LaPorta, 1B4022001 .250
Jack Hannahan, 3B4010014 .237
Totals37813814  
Batting
2B - Travis Hafner (2, Guthrie), Travis Buck (3, Guthrie), Matt LaPorta (2, Guthrie)
HR - Shin-Soo Choo (2, Guthrie), Orlando Cabrera (2, Gonzalez)
RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (6), Orlando Cabrera 4 (11), Travis Buck (1), Matt LaPorta 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera 3 (5), Travis Buck (1), Matt LaPorta (2)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - A. Cabrera-LaPorta
E - Josh Tomlin (2, Misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Josh Tomlin (W,3-0) 6622042 2.75
Vinnie Pestano 1211110 1.80
Tony Sipp 1100100 0.00
Chad Durbin 1100010 7.36
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Tomlin 79-58, Vinnie Pestano 20-12, Tony Sipp 19-10, Chad Durbin 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Tomlin 6-9, Vinnie Pestano 1-0, Tony Sipp 1-2, Chad Durbin 1-1
Batters Faced - Josh Tomlin 25, Vinnie Pestano 5, Tony Sipp 5, Chad Durbin 4
Game Information
Attendance - 10714
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 55
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Cory Blaser, Third Base - Brian O'Nora