The Baltimore Orioles will not go away. Back up to second place in the American League East and right in the thick of the wild-card race, the Orioles have turned around their pitching staff the last time through the rotation en route to four straight wins. Left-hander Zach Britton will try to make it 5-for-5 in quality starts when he takes on the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. The Indians are tumbling down with three consecutive setbacks.
Cleveland has fallen 3 ½ games off the pace in the American League Central, with the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers pulling away. The Indians have been outscored 19-3 in the last three games and have scored three runs or less in seven of nine contests since the All-Star break. The Orioles’ beleaguered pitching staff has taken advantage of that offensive futility the last two games. Baltimore had allowed an average of 8.4 runs in its first five games after the All-Star break, but has cut that number to 1.8 over the last four.
Orioles Indians Betting
When: 3:05 PM ET, Sunday, July 22, 2012
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), STO (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Zach Britton (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (5-6, 5.51)
Britton made his season debut against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday and was knocked around for four runs on six hits in four innings. The 24-year-old issued six walks and notched only one strikeout in the contest. Britton made one start against Cleveland in his 2011 rookie campaign, suffering the loss while yielding five runs and eight hits in six frames. Travis Hafner hit a home run off Britton in that contest.
Tomlin, who was reached for four runs in 5 2/3 innings to suffer a loss at Tampa Bay on Tuesday, has allowed four runs or more in four of his last six turns. The 27-year-old won at Baltimore on June 30 despite surrendering five runs in six innings. He is 3-1 with a 5.73 ERA in four career starts against the Orioles. Wilson Betemit and Adam Jones are a combined 14-for-30 with three homers off Tomlin.
1. Jim Thome and Ryan Flaherty both homered in each of the first two games of the series for Baltimore. The homers were the 610th and 611th career shots for Thome and the third and fourth for Flaherty.
2. Cleveland RHP Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) is expected to join the team and address the media on Sunday before serving a three-week suspension.
3. Baltimore RHP Matt Lindstrom was unavailable on Saturday after being hit with a line drive on Friday. He is questionable for Sunday.