Lee is unbeaten in five starts this season, and is coming off his third win of the year, an 11-2 victory over Baltimore at Jacobs Field on April 30. The 25-year-old left-hander surrendered just one run and five hits over a season-high seven innings in his first career start against the Orioles.
“It went good,” said Lee. “I finally got to see the seventh inning. I threw more strikes; I got more outs.”
The Orioles, whose .287 batting average ranks third in the American League, got two quick hits off Lee and scored in the first inning, but could do little else over the next six innings.
“He made a lot of good pitches and mixed it up,” said Orioles rookie Darnell McDonald, who also faced Lee in the minors. “He kept us off balance and on our toes.”
Lee looks to help the Indians snap a two-game losing streak, including Thursday’s 5-2 defeat to Boston. Matt Lawton homered as Cleveland scored twice in the first inning against Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, but the Indians’ offense stalled thereafter.
Cleveland won two straight from Baltimore last week before the series finale was postponed due to rain. The Orioles returned home and dropped two of three to the Chicago White Sox, including a heartbreaking 6-5 loss Wednesday.
Down 6-4, the Orioles loaded the bases with none out in the ninth. Javy Lopez hit a sacrifice fly to get the Orioles within one, but Baltimore could not capitalize on the opportunity.
“Bases loaded and no outs in the ninth, we thought we might come away with more than one run, but we fell a little short,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. “It just didn’t happen.”
Jay Gibbons and Lopez homered, and McDonald had three hits for the Orioles, who have lost seven of 10. Lopez hit his fourth homer of the season and his first in 16 games, snapping a 6-for-40 skid at the plate.