Indians set to throw another fill-in starter at Orioles

MLB Baseball

Forced to use a patchwork rotation at the moment, the Cleveland Indians are still finding ways to succeed.

Meanwhile, success on the road continues to evade the Baltimore Orioles.

Giving another reliever a starting nod, the Indians will try to extend the Orioles’ club-record road losing streak to 17 games on Tuesday night.

Cleveland’s rotation took another hit Monday when ace Shane Bieber was placed on the 10-day injury list due to a shoulder issue. He joins fellow starter Zach Plesac (thumb) on the shelf.

Reliever J.C. Mejia was pressed into a starting role and allowed two runs over four serviceable innings Monday during Cleveland’s 4-3 win over Baltimore. Another reliever, Cal Quantrill (0-2, 3.21 ERA), will make his third start in four appearances when he takes the mound Tuesday.

“We’re going to have to be a little creative,” manager Terry Francona said regarding the state of his rotation.

“Realizing that we’re setting out to win, but we certainly don’t want to hurt anybody. It’s going to be challenging. We know that.”

The Indians have handled that challenge rather well, winning seven of the past 11 overall and five of six at home.

One of Quantrill’s two starts this season came at Baltimore, when he was rudely tagged for seven runs (five earned) and five hits over just 1 1/3 innings of an 18-5 loss on June 6.

Cedric Mullins opened the bottom of the first inning in that contest with a homer off the right-hander, whose most recent outing came back in a relief role on Wednesday at St. Louis.

Mullins, batting .321 on the season and 10-for-15 versus Cleveland in 2021, has hits in both of his career at-bats against Quantrill. He went 1-for-3 on Monday as the Orioles dropped their fifth straight contest overall and remained winless on the road since John Means’ no-hitter at Seattle on May 5.

Scheduled Orioles starter Matt Harvey (3-7, 7.41 ERA) was 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA in his first seven starts this season, but he is 0-5 with a 14.19 ERA in his past six. The veteran right-hander’s latest win came on May 1, and he has not completed more than 4 2/3 innings in any of his past seven starts.

For a third consecutive start, Harvey was done after three innings on Wednesday. Facing his former club, the New York Mets, Harvey was roughed up for seven runs and eight hits during a 14-1 loss.

“It’s frustrating,” Harvey said. “I definitely pitched pretty bad the last six starts. My job is to prepare and try to get better. … I guess I just have to work harder.”

Harvey is 0-2 with a 12.38 ERA in three appearances, two as a starter, against the Indians, but will face them for the first time this season. Cleveland infielder Cesar Hernandez has fared relatively well against Harvey, going 7-for-18 for his career.

Jose Ramirez is 1-for-4 with an RBI against Harvey, and is batting .381 (16-for-42) with five doubles and 10 RBIs over his past 11 contests. He is 6-for-15 (.400) against the Orioles this season.

–Field Level Media

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