The Orioles had an opportunity to win a series on the road today, but the Indians grabbed a first inning lead and didn’t look back. Yefry Ramirez (1-5) was lit up while Mike Clevinger (9-7) shut out the O’s offense, all leading to Cleveland winning 8-0. The loss drops the Orioles to 37-87, once again 50 games under .500. This marked the end of the season series with Cleveland, who won five out of seven games.
Ramirez entered the game with 5.40 ERA. It was 6.49 when he walked off the mound in the fourth inning. In three plus innings pitched, he allowed seven runs on seven hits and five walks. He recorded nine outs and allowed twelve baserunners. His body language was not good, as he was visibly frustrated at times. This outing may call Ramirez’s spot in the rotation into question.
It was the fourth inning that sunk the O’s chances at winning this game. Ramirez allowed two runs (including one that he walked in) in the frame before being removed. Sean Gilmartin then got out of a bases loading situation in the wrong way: giving up a grand slam. It was courtesy of Melky Cabrera and put this game away.
If you’re looking for a silver lining in a brutal game, it is the performance of the Baltimore bullpen. Five relievers combined for five innings pitched a one run allowed.
Despite being shut out, the O’s did manage nine hits. Cedric Mullins and Chris Davis each contributed two hits including a double. Jonathan Villar, Mark Trumbo, and Renato Nunez struck out twice and the O’s combined for ten strikeouts.
This game was close through three and a half innings. The Indians grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Ramirez hit Greg Allen to start his afternoon, who stole second base and scored on a two-out Yandy Diaz double. Jason Kipnis started the bottom of the second inning with a single that was turned into a double by a Craig Gentry error. After Kipnis was bunted to third, another two-out base hit made the game 2-0.
Before this game got out of hand, the Orioles had Clevinger on the ropes in the first few innings. Cedric Mullins led the game off with a double and moved to third on a one-out single by Jonathan Villar. But Villar was then picked off of first base for the second out. Mark Trumbo struck out to end the inning. Chris Davis led off the second inning with a double and moved to third on a Craig Gentry single. That made two innings in a row where hits with a runner in scoring position didn’t produce a run. Jace Peterson and Caleb Joseph were retired to end the threat. The Birds had the leadoff batter on base in each of the first four innings but had no runs to show for it.
The bottom of the fourth inning was about as bad as it could have been for Baltimore. Three straight hits off of Ramirez to start the inning gave the Indians a 3-0 lead. Jose Ramirez was intentionally walked to load the bases. Yefry Ramirez responded by issuing a walk to give Cleveland a 4-0 lead. Sean Gilmartin relieved Ramirez and recorded the first out via strikeout. He then served up the grand slam to Melky Cabrera that turned this game into a laugher. In all, six runs were scored in the frame before Gilmartin got out of it.
Since Alex Cobb didn’t need the bullpen yesterday, Buck Showalter used Ramirez’s short start as an opportunity to use a parade of relievers who needed work rather than tax just one reliever’s arm. Gilmartin recorded four outs and gave up one earned run. He did allow four baserunners and threw 39 pitches. Ryan Meisinger, Tanner Scott, Cody Carroll, and Paul Fry then combined for four innings pitched without giving up a hit or walk. Scott struck out all three batters he faced.
After being given an eight run lead, Clevinger allowed only one baserunner (a Trumbo single) in his final two innings. His final line was six innings, seven hits and a walk allowed, a seven strikeouts. He needed 104 pitches to get through those six innings. Getting into the bullpen didn’t do much for the O’s, as the first reliever they faced was Andrew Miller. Joseph was hit by his former battery mate, but Miller otherwise made quick work of Baltimore batters. Dan Otero and Adam Cimber closed the game out for Cleveland.
The Orioles will head to Canada following today’s game for a 7:07 contest tomorrow evening. Andrew Cashner (4-10, 4.71) will oppose Toronto’s Marco Estrada (6-9, 4.87).