O’s Cruz to Victory Over Indians

Nelson Cruz hit his league leading sixteenth homerun and the Orioles overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Cleveland Indians 4-2.  The victory gave the O’s a split of the four game series.

It was a shaky start for Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez.  He gave up a single, walk and single to the first three batters he faced.  Two sacrifice flies later and he was down 2-0.  He was fortunate he was not down 4-0 as Jason Giambi lifted a deep fly ball to the right field warning track, caught by Nick Markakis just a few feet from being a homerun.

The Orioles scored their first run in the second inning.  Steve Pearce, playing for Chris Davis, who was on paternity leave, led off the inning with a single.  He stole second and then raced home when Jonathan Schoop blooped a single over first.  Nick Swisher gathered the ball in and appeared to have a play on Pearce at the plate, but chose to hold the ball.

Nelson Cruz got a rally started for the Orioles in the third with a two out double that struck the right centerfield wall.  Steve Pearce singled into left field and Cruz just beat the throw home from Michael Brantley to tie the score.

In the fifth the Orioles went ahead for good.  The slumbering Manny Machado drove one just over the right field scoreboard to give the Orioles the lead.  The Orioles hope the hit wakes up his bat and his .270 slugging average.  One out later Nelson Cruz drove a ball into the center field bullpen for a 4-2 lead.

The Indians failed to get a runner past second after the second inning.  Zach Britton retired the side in order to get the save, humming his fastball at 94-97 miles per hour from the left side.  He appears to be ready to take over the closer job from Tommy Hunter, putting Tommy back in a set up role.

Game Notes:  The Lacrosse national championships were being played at Ravens stadium, so the parking was limited and expensive.  Myworld parked in Federal Hills for free and walked a couple miles to the stadium…Good to see Caleb Joseph get a major league opportunity after spending seven plus years with AA Bowie.  He is only hitting .050, but he did throw a runner out at second during a critical point in the game.  The acquisition of Nick Hundley will send him back to the minors…Adam Jones swung at and missed a couple times on Trevor Bauer 94-95 mile per hour fastballs.  Bauer had a number of O’s swinging and missing at his high fastball, which is a good indication it had some movement, striking out 8 in less than five innings of work…Nick Markakis had a rough day going 0 for 5 with three whiffs.  He took three called strikes in his third at bat with a runner on third…The O’s could have tagged on more runs in the fifth with runners on first and third and one out.  Jonathan Schoop could not make contact and David Lough followed suit with a whiff.  The O’s were hoping Lough would take over the production of Nate McLouth from last year, and not follow the anemic offense McLouth is hitting this year.  Both are averaging near .150.

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