Game 115: Indians 4, Orioles 1

LGFT Kevin Millwood drew the start for the Orioles, a $12M veteran in the final year of his ill-advised, post-Cleveland deal.  The Indians countered with 22-year-old Jeanmar Gomez, making his fourth career start.

Trevor Crowe hit fifth in today's lineup, one spot ahead of Matt LaPorta.  Generally, batting order is largely irrelevant, but then again, so is Trevor Crowe – a perfect union, of sorts.  In the first inning, with a man on second and third with two outs, Crowe attempted to bunt for a hit.  The ball went foul, the count moved to 0-2, but Crowe worked the count full before legging out an RBI infield single to give Cleveland an early 1-0 lead.  Manny Acta, genius.

The Indians went up 2-0 in the second inning on a single by Jason Donald, followed immediately by a double by third-baseman de jour Andy Marte and an RBI groundout from Lou Marson.  In the fifth, Shin-Soo Choo took a pitch off his recovered right hand, stayed in the game, and scored when Trevor Thome followed with a double off the base of the CF wall.  3-0 Tribe. Manny Acta, take another bow.

Gomez cruised through the first four innings, then hit a two-out hiccup in the fifth.  Michael Brantley made a nice running catch on a Caesar Izturis dying liner to end the threat and the inning.  Ty Wiggington’s two-out, RBI single in the sixth was the only Baltimore offense.  Gomez came out for the seventh but was removed after Adam Jones singled to open the inning on a perfect bunt toward third base.  Gomez departed having given up 6H, 1R, with 3K and 0BB(!).  Three of the hits were well-placed groundballs – he was in control the entire night.

Rafael Perez came on to clean up the seventh, and he did so uneventfully.  He stayed on for the eighth, and smooth defensive plays by Marte and Asdrubal on consecutive groundballs killed any hopes for an O’s rally. Asdrubal added an RBI single in the ninth.  (Controlled) Pure Rage needed eight pitches (seven strikes) to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth for his 14th save. The Perez duo threw three innings of relief, needing 33 pitches, 28 for strikes.

After only two singles last night, the offense came alive tonight with 11 hits.  Brantley finished the day 4-5 (all singles, but no complaints) and Asdrubal, Crowe, and Marte each added two hits.

Elsewhere, Carlos Carrasco pitched tonight for Columbus.  His final line: 6IP, 3H, 1R (ER), 0BB, 8K. Carrasco, still just 23-years old, will get some starts in Cleveland in these final eight weeks.    

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