While the Baltimore Orioles’ misery on the road continues, the Cleveland Indians’ current surge has come with some strong play at home.
The Indians aim to complete a four-game series sweep on Thursday, and extend the Orioles’ club-record road losing streak to 19 in the process.
Still in a state of rebuild, the Orioles knew it would be hard to win consistently this season. However, the club is 7-29 in a stretch that began with a loss on May 7, and 23 games under .500 overall. Baltimore was unable to hold an early 3-1 lead Wednesday and dropped its seventh straight overall, 8-7 at Cleveland.
The Orioles’ most recent road victory came at Seattle on May 5, when John Means no-hit the Seattle Mariners.
“Losing is hard, but you try to think about the big picture as much as you can,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Of late, Baltimore has hurt itself by committing 10 errors in its last five games.
“It’s not effort-related. … Guys are grinding and frustrated,” said Hyde, whose club has also struck out 34 times through the first three games of this set.
Cleveland, meanwhile, is 5-1 on a seven-game homestand, and averaged 5.3 runs while winning seven of the last eight there.
“We’re just letting loose, having fun,” first baseman Bobby Bradley told the Indians’ official website. “In my head, this is 12-year-old All-Stars. As fun as we can get. Just playing some summer ball.”
Bradley is batting .393 in nine games this season.
Cleveland’s Amed Rosario is batting .307 with 12 RBIs in 29 home games this season. He also clubbed a two-run homer off Jorge Lopez (2-7, 5.64 ERA), the Orioles’ scheduled starter for Thursday, during an 18-5 loss at Baltimore on June 6.
Lopez allowed three runs overall, with four hits and three walks over five innings in that game. The right-hander then followed by yielding five runs and eight hits while striking out eight over 4 2/3 innings of a 5-4 defeat at Tampa Bay on Saturday.
In 11 games in his career against Cleveland, including two starts, Lopez is 1-2 with an 8.10 ERA.
Meanwhile, the Indians have managed to succeed for the time being despite injuries to starting pitchers Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac. They’ve relied on relievers and minor league call-ups to fill the voids in the rotation.
“If we pull together, we have a chance to have some fun figuring out ways to win as opposed to ‘woe is us,'” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
On Thursday, Francona is slated to turn to rookie Eli Morgan (0-1, 20.25), who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday. This will be the right-hander’s second career start, and he hopes it goes better than his major league debut against Toronto on May 28.
Pitching on a windy and rainy evening, Morgan was roughed up for six runs on eight hits and two walks over just 2 2/3 innings.
Morgan will likely face Baltimore’s Ryan Mountcastle, who homered for one of his three hits and had four RBIs on Wednesday. Mountcastle is 10-for-21 with three home runs and nine RBIs against the Indians in 2021.
Teammate Freddy Galvis is batting .320 (8-for-25) with four RBIs versus Cleveland this year.
–Field Level Media