Orioles 10, Indians 7
“Now I can go out and enjoy some good food in Little Italy,” he said, grinning broadly.
Jay Gibbons, having finally ended a lengthy slump, was looking forward to nothing more than getting some rest for his weary body.
Gibbons’ three-run double highlighted a four-run seventh inning, and the Orioles punished the Indians’ maligned bullpen in a 10-7 comeback victory Saturday.
Gibbons was 6-for-45 (.133) over his last 11 games before going 3-for-5 with four RBIs, adding 19 points to a batting average that had dipped to .204.
“I hope this gets me going so we don’t have to talk about it and I don’t have to worry about it anymore,” he said. “I’m having trouble sleeping right now. It feels good to get this one in; hopefully I’ll get a good sleep tonight.”
Gibbons hit .277 and drove in 100 runs last season, but this year has been a struggle from the outset.
“This is your livelihood. You’re expected to produce,” he said. “It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve done something good for this team, so it felt good to come through.”
Down 7-4 in the seventh, the Orioles batted around to take the lead. After Brian Roberts singled and took third on a double by Mora, Indians starter Jake Westbrook retired Miguel Tejada on a line drive before being replaced by Scott Stewart (0-2).
Stewart got Rafael Palmeiro on a liner for the second out, then issued an intentional walk to Javy Lopez, bringing Gibbons to the plate.
“When they walk someone to get to you, there’s a pride issue there,” Gibbons said.
He responded with a twisting drive into the right-field corner, and B.J. Surhoff followed with an opposite-field bloop single to left to score Gibbons with the go-ahead run.
Stewart’s performance was typical of Cleveland’s bullpen, which came in 4-9 with a 6.77 ERA and six blown saves.
“From the seventh inning on, it’s been the story all year,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “That’s what we’ve got to continue to contend with.”
Gibbons was hitting .135 against left-handers before clearing the bases against Stewart.
“We’ve got a lefty facing their lefty down in the order and he didn’t get it done, and we’ve got to get it done,” Wedge said.
It didn’t end there; Lopez and Gibbons singled in unearned runs in the eighth off Rafael Betancourt for a 10-7 lead.
The solid job by Baltimore’s bullpen was a sharp contrast to the showing by Ainsworth, who has a 7.36 ERA after allowing seven runs, six hits and five walks in 4 2-3 innings. Acquired from the San Francisco Giants last July in a trade for Sidney Ponson, Ainsworth has yet to earn a victory in nine appearances with Baltimore.
“Too many walks. It’s something I’ve got to work on,” he said. “It’s ridiculous, walking that many.”
Ainsworth quickly allowed the Indians to move back on top, walking Vizquel to open the fifth and giving up a single to Gerut before serving up a home run to Hafner. It was Hafner’s fifth homer of the season, the first since April12.
Vizquel made his seventh error at shortstop, matching his total in each of the last three seasons. … Baltimore pitchers issued seven walks and leadthe league with 141.