The Cleveland Indians have had no problems scoring in the first two games of a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, but they could run into some difficulties against Jeremy Guthrie on Wednesday night.
Guthrie takes the mound looking to win his fourth straight start as he tries to provide some help to a struggling Orioles pitching staff.
The Indians (54-64) have scored 20 runs in the first two games of this series with the Orioles (56-62). They beat Baltimore 7-5 Tuesday night to match a season-high five-game winning streak set in April. Asdrubal Cabrera had three of Cleveland’s 12 hits a day after doubling in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of a 13-8 win.
Cabrera is hitting .571 (8-for-14) with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs in the last four games.
Tuesday marked the third straight game that the Orioles have allowed four first-inning runs. Baltimore starters have been tagged for 18 runs - 16 earned - over 14 innings during a three-game losing streak. Orioles starters are 10-9 with a 6.13 since the All-Star break, contributing to the team’s 5.32 ERA - one of the worst marks in the majors.
Baltimore’s offense has done more than its share lately, scoring 38 runs in the last five games.
Right fielder Nick Markakis is batting .404 (21-for-52) with two homers and 18 RBIs in his last 13 contests.
“I’d certainly like to be on the other end of it,” manager Dave Trembley said. “The game is dictated by your starting pitcher and the ability or the inability to put zeros on the board after you score.”
Baltimore will try to avoid losing its fifth straight to the Indians on Wednesday when it sends red-hot Guthrie (9-8, 3.26 ERA) to the hill. The right-hander has won his last three starts, allowing one run in each outing while giving up two or fewer runs in five of his last six starts.
“I think he’s in a position now where his due is coming,” Trembley said. “We’re very, very fortunate to have him.”
Guthrie lost his first three decisions and was 3-7 on June 12. Since then, he has a 2.63 ERA over 10 starts, helping the Orioles win seven times in that span. He ranks among the top 10 AL starters in ERA.
Guthrie pitched seven innings Friday against Texas, allowing one run and five hits in a 9-1 win.
The right-hander began his career with the Indians in 2004 and appeared in 16 games with Cleveland over parts of three seasons. He made two relief appearances against his former team last season, allowing six runs in 1 1-3 innings.
The Indians will counter with Anthony Reyes (1-0, 1.42), acquired in a trade with St. Louis on July 26. He was called up from the minors on Friday to face Toronto and limited the Blue Jays to one run and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-2 win.
On Tuesday, the Indians traded another member of their 2007 team that was within one win of the World Series. After trading CC Sabathia and Casey Blake in July, Cleveland sent pitcher Paul Byrd to Boston for cash or a player to be named later. Byrd was 7-10 with a 4.53 ERA this season.