Baltimore (6-7) at Cleveland (10-4)

Fair Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 66° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Sun Apr 17, 2011
  • TV: MASN2, STO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

As the Cleveland Indians continue their strong start, the Baltimore Orioles are struggling to regain their own early success.

The Indians look to complete a series sweep with their seventh consecutive home win and hand the visiting Orioles a seventh straight loss Sunday.

After dropping two straight in Los Angeles, Cleveland (10-4) has outscored Baltimore 16-5 in the first two of this series.

Travis Hafner(notes) had three hits and Orlando Cabrera(notes) drove in four runs in Saturday’s 8-3 win. Cleveland, which joins Kansas City as the surprise leaders in the AL Central, has averaged 5.8 runs during the six-game home winning streak.

“I like to win,” said Cabrera, who has been to the playoffs six times the past seven years. “I think the guys have the confidence every day to come and get a ‘W’ every night.”

Saturday’s victory capped a big day for the Indians, who learned star Grady Sizemore(notes) could be activated from the disabled list the next two days after missing nearly a year following microfracture surgery on his left knee.

Center fielder Michael Brantley(notes) is batting .302 in place of Sizemore. Hafner is 4 for 6 in the series and hitting .440 at home.

Though Cleveland’s starting pitchers are 8-1 with a 1.91 ERA while winning 10 of 12, scheduled starter and 2010 All-Star Fausto Carmona(notes) (0-2, 6.11 ERA) is the only member of the rotation without a win.

The right-hander has improved since being tagged for 10 runs in the season opener versus Chicago, giving up two and six hits over 14 2-3 innings his last two outings. Carmona’s teammates, however, have yet to give him a single run of support when he’s been in the game.

He allowed a pair of solo homers in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-0 loss at Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“It looks like he’s back on track and he should have a great season,” Hafner said.

Carmona is 3-3 with a 6.49 ERA in seven starts versus Baltimore, but 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA in three against the Orioles at Progressive Field.

Baltimore’s Luke Scott(notes) is 5 for 11 with a homer against Carmona. He hit his first of the season Saturday as the Orioles (6-7) lost for the sixth straight time since starting 6-1. Baltimore has scored 15 runs during the skid.

“It’s not the gloom and doom everybody makes it out to be,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s been a challenge for us. We’ll get better at that.”

With starters Brian Matusz(notes) and Justin Duchscherer(notes) still on the disabled list, Baltimore’s Brad Bergesen(notes) (0-1, 3.18) makes his second start.

The right-hander was sent down to the minors after he allowed four runs in 3 2-3 innings to Detroit on April 6, but recalled when shortstop J.J. Hardy(notes) went on the DL. Bergesen pitched two scoreless innings of relief in a 7-4 defeat at New York on Wednesday.

Showalter remains confident in Bergesen, 4-10 with a 4.79 ERA in 21 road starts for the Orioles.

“He’s done some good things here,” Showalter told the Orioles’ official website. “We know what he’s capable of.”

Bergesen was at his best allowing a run and two hits for his second career complete game in a 3-1 win at Cleveland on Aug. 11.

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B. Bergesen Ari vs. R. Hernández Hou
2-7 Record 7-15
5.70 ERA 5.25
61 K 109
32 BB 60
1.50 WHIP 1.40


Sunday, Apr 17