Indians hand O’s manager Showalter first road loss
The 22-year-old remained unbeaten with a 4-1 win over Baltimore on Thursday night, handing Buck Showalter his first road loss as Orioles manager.
Gomez (3-0) gave up one run and six hits over six innings, leaving after Adam Jones(notes) led off the seventh with a bunt single. The native of Venezuela struck out three without a walk in his fourth career start to beat veteran Kevin Millwood(notes) (2-12).
“I felt comfortable, had a good sinker and changeup, but I’d like to throw more strikes and get ahead of hitters,” Gomez said.
“He hasn’t changed a thing up here,” Marson said. “He’s a mature kid with good stuff, a composed guy.”
That’s the scouting report Showalter gave on Gomez after watching him a few times in the low minors. That was when Showalter was a special assistant on the Indians’ staff in 2007.
“I saw him when he was 19 or 20 years old,” Showalter said. “I got one right. That wasn’t hard scouting. He has good, late life on his fastball. He pounded the strike zone. I was impressed. I can see why they’re so high on him.”
Baltimore, seeking a season-high fifth win in a row, dropped to 8-2 with Showalter. The Orioles failed to get their first three-game sweep in Cleveland since April 10-12, 1987, and Showalter fell a game short of matching the team record for best start by a manager. Davey Johnson began 9-1 in 1996.
“We wanted to win all three,” Showalter said. “We had an opportunity. We got a well-pitched game.”
Michael Brantley(notes) tied a career high with four hits and Trevor Crowe(notes) drove in two runs as Cleveland broke a four-game losing streak and won for only the third time in its last 12 home games.
“Raffy was fantastic,” Indians manager Manny Acta said of the lefty, who threw 20 of 24 for pitches for strikes. “Brantley set the table and Crowe came through with a couple of key hits.”
Crowe doubled home Shin-Soo Choo(notes) in the fifth inning for a 3-0 lead. Choo was hit on the back of his right hand by a Millwood pitch. After being checked by trainer Lonnie Soloff, he jogged to first, then raced all the way home on Crowe’s drive over the head of Jones in center.
“I thought it was broken,” said Choo, his hand bandaged with ice afterwards. “I was scared. I didn’t want another injury.”
Choo was on the disabled list July 3-23 with a strained right thumb.
Crowe’s infield single in the first drove in the game’s first run. Lou Marson’s RBI groundout in the second made it 2-0.
Millwood gave up three runs and nine hits over seven innings. The right-hander dropped to 0-4 in seven starts since beating Florida in an interleague game on June 24.
“I felt good the whole game,” Millwood said. “I felt like I at least kept us in the game. I guess I just have to pick a better night to pitch on when we score more runs.”
NOTES: Indians DH Travis Hafner(notes), sidelined since July 29 with an inflamed right shoulder, is expected to take full batting practice Friday and may start a rehab assignment in the minors soon. … Baltimore signed its third, fifth and ninth draft picks, RHP Daniel Klein, 3B Connor Narron and RHPs Parker Bridwell, respectively. … Orioles RHP Jim Johnson(notes), out since May 28 with an inflamed right elbow, worked a scoreless inning on a rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie. … Gomez, at age 22, is the youngest man on Cleveland’s roster, which features nine rookies. Only Hafner (1977) and OF Shelley Duncan(notes) (1979) were born before 1982. … Gomez is the fourth Indians pitcher since 1920 to win three of his first four starts, joining Scott Lewis(notes) (2008), Wynn Hawkins (1960) and Jim Grant (1958). … Brantley’s 4 for 5 night raised his batting average 24 points to .198.