Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer goes to work against the Orioles in the first inning Friday night at Camden Yards.(
BALTIMORE, Md. – A trip to Puerto Rico did not thaw the Indians’ offense. It’s still stuck in a deep freeze.
Following a 3-1 loss to the Orioles on Friday night at Camden Yards, the Indians have scored two runs in the last 25 innings. Say what you will about that level of ineptitude, but it’s still hard to do.
The Orioles tried to give the game away early, but the Indians wouldn’t accept their generosity.
In the first inning, Baltimore catcher Chance Sisco misjudged a foul pop by Jason Kipnis with one out. Kipnis followed with a single and right-hander Dylan Bundy followed by loading the bases as Jose Ramirez walked and Michael Brantley singled.
When Bundy hit Edwin Encarnacion with a pitch to give the Indians a 1-0 lead, it seemed like a good sign. After all, they managed to score just one run in a 16-inning loss to the Twins on Wednesday night in Puerto Rico.
So one run in one inning seemed like a sweet deal.
But with this offense, which entered the game ranked 13th in the AL in runs, good signs don’t matter. Yonder Alonso, with the bases still loaded, flied out to shallow left and Roberto Perez struck out to end the inning.
"You want to capitalize on little breaks and second chances," said Kipnis. "We have the lineup that doesn’t need to do that if you look at the track record and history and depth. I mean we have one of the better lineups in baseball.
"But at this time when guys aren’t swinging it the way they want to it’s little things like that, that you really want to capitalize on. . .to get a little present like that."
But this isn’t Christmas. It’s baseball.
By the way, the Indians weren’t exactly playing a hot team. The Orioles entered the game on a six-game losing streak with a 5-14 record.
"As players we all want results," said Kipnis. "We all take solace in the process part, where we have good at-bats and good swings. But just like any fan or coaching staff we know we want results, too."
Manny Machado tied the score in the fourth, 1-1, when he hit a 3-0 pitch from Trevor Bauer over the center field wall for a homer. Machado came into the game hitting .667 (8-for-12) with three homers and four RBI against Bauer.
The Machado homer seemed to distract Bauer. He got out of the rest of the inning without further damage despite allowing a single to Chris Davis and a walk to Tim Beckham. He started the fifth by hitting Sisco and allowing a single to Luis Sardinas, the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup.
Trey Mancini brought them both home with a double to the fence in left center for a 3-1 lead. Bauer escaped the rest of the inning before finding himself again. In the sixth and seventh innings, he retired six straight.
Mancini hit a curveball up in the strike zone.
"I really struggled putting guys away tonight," said Bauer, 1-2, 2.67. "My slider was terrible. When I can’t put guys away with that, they know I’m going to throw curveballs. When I throw bad one like that, I get away with them less."
But the offense remained frozen on a chilly night in Baltimore. In six innings Bundy (1-2, 1.42) struck out nine, while allowing five hits and two walks. He’s 3-1 lifetime against the Indians.
The Tribe threatened in the seventh when pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer doubled off lefty Richard Bleier with one out. He moved to third on a ground out before Kipnis walked. Ramirez sent a grounder that appeared headed for center field, but shortstop Tim Beckman knocked it down and flipped to Sardinas for the force at second just ahead of the sliding Kipnis.
In the last two games, the Indians are 1-for-22 with runners in scoring position and have left 21 runners on base.
Bauer, who hadn’t pitched in a week, pitched well enough to win. In seven innings, he allowed three runs on five hits. Bauer struck out six and walked three. He’s 1-4 lifetime against the Orioles.
"Three runs in seven innings. . .on a lot of nights we’re sitting here talking about how well he pitched," said manager Terry Francona.
Darren O’Day pitched the ninth for Baltimore to earn his first save of the season.
What it means
The Indians are 4-6 when they score three or fewer runs.
Bauer threw 116 pitches, 71 (61 percent), for strikes. Bundy threw 108 pitches, 71 (66 percent), for strikes.
Thanks for coming
The Indians and Orioles drew 20,004 to Camden Yards on Friday night. First pitch was at 7:07 p.m. with a temperature of 58 degrees.
Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (1-0, 2.70) will face the Orioles and right-hander Chris Tillman on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. Fox Sports 1 will televise the game. WTAM/1100 and WMMS/FM 100.7 will broadcast it.
This will be Clevinger’s first start since April 13 when he allowed four runs in four innings against Toronto. Clevinger went 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA against the Orioles last year.
Former Tribe farmhand Anthony Santander started in right field for Baltimore on Friday night against his former team.