After waiting almost two weeks to break out offensively, the Baltimore Orioles finally did in their last game.
A quality start from their pitcher, however, continues to elude them.
Baltimore (42-34) entered Friday having lost seven of nine, scoring 23 runs during that span. The Orioles were unable to overcome a poor outing from starter Wei-Yin Chen in Thursday's series opener, but their offense did just enough Friday to avoid a fourth straight loss and post a 9-8 victory.
Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer and Ryan Flaherty singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh as Baltimore went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position after going 3 for 52 in RBI situations over its previous 10 games. It was the first time in 11 games that the Orioles scored more than three runs.
"It was a battle,'' Wieters said. "We haven't been able to come out on top of those, and we really worked to get that win.''
The lack of offense has put added pressure on Baltimore's starters, who have an 11.78 ERA in the last four games. Jake Arrieta was in line for his major league-leading 10th loss Friday before the Orioles' rally got him off the hook.
With ineffective Tommy Hunter moved to the bullpen, Eveland (0-0, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start since May 11. The left-hander has been effective in 10 straight relief appearances since that start, compiling a 2.57 ERA.
He struggled with his command against Tampa Bay in his lone start, allowing three runs, five hits and six walks in six innings before leaving without a decision in a 4-3 win.
Eveland is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts - both with Oakland - against the Indians.
Wilson Betemit has been Baltimore's most consistent offensive threat lately and he continued his run with two more hits Friday. Betemit is 21 for 42 in his last 13 games and is 7 for 17 with two home runs against scheduled Indians starter Josh Tomlin.
Cleveland (38-38) lost for the sixth time in seven games despite collecting a season-high 16 hits. Another defeat Saturday would drop the Indians under .500 for the first time since they were 3-4.
Asdrubal Cabrera has homered in the first two games of this series, giving him four home runs and eight RBIs in his last six games at Camden Yards.
Cleveland will be without third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall for 4 to 6 weeks after he suffered a broken bone in his right forearm when he was hit by a pitch from Baltimore reliever Troy Patton.
"I had a bad feeling about it,'' Indians manager Manny Acta said. "It's bad news for us, especially a young kid like him. It's always tough seeing a young guy getting his feet wet, getting better and then all of a sudden, an injury like that.''
Tomlin (3-5, 5.70) yielded six runs and six hits - including three homers - over a career-low three innings in Monday's 7-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. That continued a dismal month for the right-hander, who is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five June starts.
He is 2-1 despite a 5.06 ERA in three career starts against the Orioles. Tomlin has been hurt by the home run in those games, giving up six in 16 innings.
- The Orioles
- Cleveland Indians
- Baltimore Orioles
- Dana Eveland