The Baltimore Orioles were in a deep offensive slump until Friday, when they parlayed timely hitting into a 9-8 victory over the Cleveland Indians. The Orioles, who hadn’t scored more than three runs in their previous 10 games, hope to stay in high gear when they host the Indians on Saturday in the third of a four-game series. Matt Wieters’ three-run homer in the sixth gave Baltimore a 7-5 lead, and Ryan Flaherty’s two-out single in the seventh inning broke a 7-7 tie.
While pitching is usually the main ingredient in any team’s success, the Orioles must perform at a high level offensively if they are to stay in contention with the heavyweights in the American League East. Baltimore is four games behind first-place New York Yankees and 1½ in front of the third-place Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays.
The Indians lost more than a game Friday. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks with a broken bone in his right forearm after he was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.
Indians Orioles Betting
When: 4:05 PM ET, Saturday, June 30, 2012
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, STO (Cleveland), MASN2, WJZ (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Josh Tomlin (3-5, 5.70 ERA) vs. Orioles LH Dana Eveland (0-0, 3.00)
Tomlin, who is 1-3 in five June starts, allowed six runs and three homers in three innings in his last outing, a 7-1 loss to the Yankees at New York on Monday. He has alternated poor starts with solid ones in his last five outings. Tomlin is 2-1 in three career starts against Baltimore. The Orioles’ roster, though, is hitting .356 against him, with Wilson Betemit (7-for-17, two homers, four RBIs) and Adam Jones (4-for-8, homer, three RBIs) enjoying the most success.
Eveland will make his second start of the season. He allowed three runs and five hits in six innings in his season debut, a 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay on May 11. Eveland has posted a 2.57 ERA in 10 relief appearances since. He is 2-0 in two appearances – both starts – against Cleveland, but hasn’t faced then since 2009. The Indians’ roster is hitting a robust .417 against Eveland, with third baseman Jose Lopez (7-for-16, three RBIs) having the most at-bats.
1. Cleveland C Carlos Santana has missed the last two games (back) and manager Manny Acta said he will likely be held out until Sunday’s series finale.
2. Betemit has a nine-game hitting streak. He is 11-for-18 in his last five games, all multi-hit contests.
3. The Indians improved to 6-16 against left-handers when they beat Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles 7-2 in Thursday’s series opener