The Baltimore Orioles have carried their hot hitting under Buck Showalter to the road, getting in position for a rare series win away from home.
Baltimore can achieve that feat and post its second four-game win streak during Showalter’s tenure Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians.
The major league-worst Orioles (39-74) went 6-1 on a homestand that began with Showalter’s debut Aug. 3, then beat the Indians 14-8 on Tuesday night to improve their AL-worst road record to 15-40.
It was the most runs Baltimore had scored since totaling 16 in a win over the Angels last Aug. 14. Baltimore collected 13 hits and raised its average under Showalter to .300 - 44 points higher than before his arrival.
The Orioles’ last four batters in the lineup - Felix Pie(notes), Matt Wieters(notes), Corey Patterson(notes) and Cesar Izturis(notes) - were a combined 8 for 18 with three home runs and nine RBIs. The four teamed up to hit for the cycle to open a six-run eighth inning.
“Tonight, it was offense,” said Showalter, whose starting pitchers had a 1.89 ERA on the homestand.
The team has hit .414 with runners in scoring position since Showalter took over, including 7 for 10 on Tuesday.
A victory Wednesday or Thursday in Cleveland will give the Orioles just their second series win on the road all season - the other came at Texas from July 8-11. They had lost six of seven away from home entering this three-game set.
The right-hander is 0-7 in his last 12 games overall - 10 starts - since beating Seattle on May 12. The only pitchers to lose more consecutive decisions this season are teammates Brian Matusz(notes) (nine) and Kevin Millwood(notes) (eight), as well as Atlanta’s Kenshin Kawakami(notes) (nine).
Bergesen, though, has shown signs of improvement with a 1.93 ERA over his last two starts. He gave up one run and five hits over seven innings Friday in a 2-1, 10-inning victory over the Chicago White Sox.
“Obviously for me, I’m fighting for my job. At times, I almost feel like I’m fighting for my next start,” Bergesen told the Orioles’ official website.
Losers in five of seven, the Indians (47-66) will send out rookie Josh Tomlin(notes) (1-1, 2.79), who will try to bounce back from his first loss. In his third major league start, the right-hander gave up four hits over seven innings Thursday in Boston, but one of those was Adrian Beltre’s(notes) grand slam in a 6-2 defeat.
“He’s human,” manager Manny Acta said. “Here and there he will lose his command, but after the grand slam he still went about his business and kept his composure.”
The Orioles, who haven’t won a series from the Indians since taking two of three at Cleveland in July 2006, are 19-46 at Progressive Field since it opened in 1994.