Now, it seems, they get it.
Marte hit a three-run homer following a long rain delay, his second game-winning shot in three games, and the Indians pulled out a 5-3 victory Saturday night.
Cleveland trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning when umpires called for the tarp. A delay of 1 hour, 37 minutes followed; much of the down time centered upon clearing out around two feet of standing water from each dugout.
In the sixth, Chris Ray(notes) (0-2) replaced rookie Chris Tillman(notes) and immediately struck out Jhonny Peralta(notes). But Luis Valbuena(notes) and rookie Matt LaPorta(notes) followed with singles, and Marte homered to left on a full count.
On Thursday night, Marte hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth on a 3-2 pitch.
“I’m just getting good pitches,” Marte said. “He just made a mistake and I got a good swing on it. … He threw it right around where I wanted.”
Ray, who had allowed only one earned run in his previous 18 innings, said, “We went to 3-2 and I didn’t want to just groove a fastball right there. I ended up throwing a slider and he hit it over the fence.”
Peralta also homered for the Indians, who showed their resilience—and buoyancy—on a soggy night at Camden Yards.
“It was crazy today. I was afraid about Jhonny,” Marte said. “He doesn’t know how to swim. As soon as it started raining, he ran in here.”
With the Orioles batting against Jeremy Sowers(notes) in the fifth, a light rain intensified. Ty Wigginton(notes) reached third with two outs and, as thousands of fans headed for cover, Cesar Izturis(notes) tripled into the gap in right-center.
The lead held up only slightly longer than the delay.
“Kind of an unusual night, wasn’t it?” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
LaPorta had a career-best four hits for the Indians—twice his previous high. LaPorta has a hit in all 10 games since his recall from Triple-A Columbus, and Marte also extended his hitting streak to 10 games, a new career high.
“You like players to step up at the right time, and both those kids have lately,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
“Their bullpen did a better job than ours did,” Trembley said.
Back in the Baltimore lineup after a five-game absence with back spasms, center fielder Adam Jones(notes) immediately contributed. After hauling in a fly for the first out of the game, Jones raced back on a drive by Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) and made a leaping catch at the wall, stealing at least an extra-base hit.
“Jones was absolutely tremendous,” Trembley said. “He played All-Star caliber center field.”
Peralta tied it with his 11th homer, a drive to left on a 3-1 pitch. That extended to eight Cleveland’s season-high run of games with a homer.
NOTES: RHP Carlos Carrasco(notes), obtained from Philadelphia in the Cliff Lee(notes) trade, will start for the Indians on Tuesday against Detroit. It will be his major league debut. … Cleveland’s Kelly Shoppach(notes) ended an 0-for-23 skid with a fourth-inning single. … Harold Baines was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony. … Indians DH Travis Hafner(notes) missed the game with a sore left shoulder. If he’s not well Sunday, he will be examined in Cleveland on Monday.