After coming up empty against the hottest team in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles hope to get back on track against another club that has been on a bit of a run lately.
The Orioles will attempt to avoid their fourth straight loss Monday night when they open a four-game series against a Cleveland Indians team that has won eight of 11.
Baltimore (42-34) returns to Camden Yards looking to regroup after surging Toronto wrapped up a three-game sweep Sunday with a 13-5 victory for its 11th consecutive win.
The Orioles have lost three in a row for the first time since a season-high six-game slide May 14-20."We ran into a good team and came up short," said second baseman Ryan Flaherty , who had his first career two-homer game and has three home runs in his last three contests.
While Baltimore's next opponent hasn't been quite as hot as the Blue Jays, the Indians (38-36) have rebounded nicely from a season-worst eight-game losing streak. The Indians, however, had their four-game winning streak snapped in a 5-3 loss to Minnesota on Sunday.
Ubaldo Jimenez will try to get this 11-game road swing off to a better start than the last trip June 3-12, when the Indians dropped their first seven before salvaging the final two.
Cleveland starters have keyed the turnaround with a 2.67 ERA in 11 games since the skid.
Jimenez (5-4, 4.66 ERA) has been solid with a 3-1 record and 2.77 ERA in seven road starts. Although he hasn't made it out of the sixth inning while walking 11 in his last three starts overall, Jimenez is 5-2 with a 3.04 ERA in his last 10.
The right-hander went 5 2-3 innings, allowing two runs, two hits and four walks before leaving without a decision in a 4-3 win over Kansas City on Tuesday.
Jimenez will face the Orioles and slugger Chris Davis for the first time. Davis leads the major leagues with 27 homers, and he's hit seven of those - driving in 18 with a 1.305 OPS - over his last 11 games.
Teammate Nate McLouth has also been hot, entering with a seven-game hitting streak, but he's 3 for 22 with seven strikeouts against Jimenez.
The Orioles counter with Zach Britton (1-1, 5.56), who makes his second start since getting recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.
Britton made the most of his recent opportunity, allowing one run and five hits over 5 1-3 innings to outpitch Justin Verlander in a 5-2 win at Detroit on Tuesday."He was crisp. He attacked the zone," manager Buck Showalter said. "That's a tough lineup for a left-hander to go through."
Britton, 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two career starts versus the Indians, gave up four hits over six shutout innings in a 4-3 win at Cleveland on July 22.
Second baseman Jason Kipnis went 2 for 3 off Britton in that contest and is hitting .444 over his last 15 overall.
Teammate Michael Bourn may also be heating up, going 8 for 13 in his last three games.
This will be the first game for Cleveland's Mark Reynolds against his former team. Reynolds hit 60 home runs for the Orioles the previous two seasons but Baltimore decided not to resign him. He has one home run, three RBIs and 34 strikeouts in his last 74 at-bats.
The Indians split eight meetings with the Orioles last season, but took three of four in Baltimore.
|June 04, 2013||Asdrubal Cabrera||15-Day DL||Right quadriceps strain|
|June 03, 2013||Zach McAllister||15-Day DL||Sprained right middle finger|
|June 03, 2013||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right quad|
|May 30, 2013||Ryan Raburn||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower right leg cramp|
|May 27, 2013||Chris Perez||15-Day DL||Right shoulder soreness|
|May 26, 2013||Chris Perez||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right shoulder discomfort|
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|June 17, 2013||Jason Hammel||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 06, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 13, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Michael Brantley took care of the offense, and Cleveland's bullpen did the rest.
Brantley homered and had four RBIs, and the Indians beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Monday night for their ninth win in 12 games.
Brantley put the Indians ahead with a two-run single in the sixth inning, and Cleveland's relievers made the lead stand up by throwing 3 2-3 innings of one-hit ball.
"Our bullpen was phenomenal," manager Terry Francona said.
Just for good measure, Brantley made it 5-2 with a two-run shot in the eighth off Darren O'Day. His four RBIs tied a career high, reached twice previously.
Nick Swisher had two hits and scored a run for the Indians, and former Oriole Mark Reynolds went 1 for 2 with two walks. The victory improved Cleveland's record against the AL East to 7-17 and provided an uplifting start to an 11-game road trip.
Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4) allowed two runs in 5 1-3 innings before Rich Hill , Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith combined for 2 2-3 innings of hitless relief. Vinnie Pestano wrapped it up by working the ninth for his fourth save.
Hill came in with a 7.58 ERA, but retired all three batters he faced.
"When Rich Hill pitches like that, it complements our whole bullpen," Francona said. "He's thrown the ball pretty good the last few times out. Getting him on a roll will really help our bullpen."
Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles, who have lost four straight.
Zach Britton (1-2) allowed only two hits through five innings and took a 2-0 lead into the sixth before faltering. He left before getting an out and with Baltimore trailing 3-2.
"Just elevated some balls, lost his command," manager Buck Showalter said. "I thought he pitched well for five innings but different stuff showed up there in the sixth."
Jason Kipnis led off with a double and scored on a single by Swisher. Carlos Santana followed with a double to put runners at second and third, and after Reynolds received an intentional walk, Brantley grounded a single up the middle to chase Britton.
"Early in the game I was able to make pitches with guys on base, executing a little bit better," Britton said. "I think I was trying to do too much after that leadoff double and things kind of escalated right there."
Brantley understood why the Orioles walked Reynolds to get to him.
"Obviously, they were playing strategy," he said. "Left-hander on the mound and I'm a left-handed hitter. I just wanted to make sure I did what I could for my team, get that run in from third. I was lucky to get a single up the middle."
Brantley iced it in the eighth with his fifth homer after a leadoff single by Reynolds.
"The pitch was middle-inside, kind of down," Brantley said. "I was able to get a good swing on it. I just stayed through it the best I could. At the time, it was a big swing, and the pitching staff ... came in and closed the door."
After being swept in a three-game series in Toronto, the Orioles hoped a return to Camden Yards would reverse their slide. But their only offense came on two swings of the bat.
After Markakis put Baltimore up 1-0 in the first inning with his eighth home run, the Orioles left the bases loaded in the second and stranded two runners in the third.
Wieters led off the fourth with his 10th home run to end an 0-for-13 skid and make it 2-0.
NOTES: The Orioles optioned RHP Freddy Garcia to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for rookie Kevin Gausman , who was added to the bullpen. Garcia can refuse the assignment and become a free agent. Gausman is a candidate to start Friday against the Yankees. ... Cleveland recalled LHP T.J. House from Triple-A Columbus and optioned RHP Carlos Carrasco to the same minor league club. ... Francona said SS Asdrubal Cabrera (right quad strain) has been taking grounders and running the bases, and could soon be activated from the DL. ... Cleveland closer Chris Perez (rotator cuff) is expected to make another rehab appearance in the minors before the Indians consider activating him. ... Baltimore's Ryan Flaherty had two hits and is 10 for 22 in his last six games. ... Baltimore's Chris Tillman (8-2) and Cleveland's Justin Masterson (9-5), the winningest pitchers on their respective teams, square off Tuesday night. ... Kipnis has reached base in 26 straight games. ... Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will see a specialist Tuesday because of lingering pain in his forearm.