BALTIMORE – Michael Brantley
lifted the Cleveland Indians over the Baltimore Orioles with four RBIs and a home run to give Cleveland the 5-2 win on Monday night.
The Orioles struck first in their share of the first inning as right fielder Nick Markakis
hit his 8th
home run of the year to give Baltimore the early lead. Another long ball gave the Orioles some insurance in the fourth inning as catcher Matt Wieters
sent his 10th
of the season over the centerfield wall for the 2-0 advantage.
Meanwhile, Britton tossed a set of zeroes across the board until the sixth inning, where the Indians took the lead for good. Second baseman Jason Kipnis
led off the inning with a double to right and scored on a single by first baseman Nick Swisher
. Catcher Carlos Santana
followed with another double to push Swisher to third and third baseman Mark Reynolds
was intentionally walked. Cue left fielder Michael Brantley, who sent a single up the middle to plate two, giving Cleveland the 3-2 lead. That ended the outing for Britton, who was replaced with Tommy Hunter
, who retired the side to impede any more damage.
Jimenez lasted through the fifth and faced a pair of batters into the sixth until he was replaced with lefty Rich Hill
, ending Jimenez’s line at 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
The Indians bullpen made a notable impact for the evening as it tossed a collective 3.2 innings of scoreless work. The team’s offense continued to work in the eighth as Cleveland scored another pair of runs off of reliever Darren O’Day.
Reynolds greeted O’Day with a lead-off single to left and was lifted for pinch runner John McDonald
, who scored as Brantley added two more RBIs with a home run to right for his 5th
of the season and the Indians’ 5-2 lead.
After a scoreless eighth from reliever Joe Smith
, the three-run lead was all Cleveland closer Vinnie Pestano
needed as he entered the game in the ninth. With two out, the Orioles made things interesting as second baseman Ryan Flaherty
drew a walk and left fielder Nate McLouth
singled, but Pestano settled in to get third baseman Manny Machado
to line out to end the game.
Next, the Indians turn to ace Justin Masterson
(9-5, 3.48) to face Baltimore righty Chris Tillman
(8-2, 3.71). Tillman received the win in his last four consecutive starts and Masterson received the win in his last outing, despite surrendering nine hits to the Kansas City Royals.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.