O's eye third straight win in Cleveland

9:26 AM, Jul 20, 2012   |    comments
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The Baltimore Orioles go after their third straight win tonight when they open a four-game set with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

After losing three in a row the Orioles won the final two games of their four- game set with the Minnesota Twins. On Thursday, they secured a series split, as Mark Reynolds' two-run single in the eighth inning lifted Baltimore to a 4-3 win over the Twins at Target Field.

Darren O'Day and Troy Patton each allowed a base runner in the bottom half. However, Pedro Strop worked out of the jam and Jim Johnson tossed a perfect ninth to secure the win for the O's. Johnson is tied with Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel for the major league lead in saves with 28.

"It's been that kind of year," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Our players have a short memory and we've won a lot of games the way we've won the last two days. The way (Johnson) has been the last two nights with one run leads on the road helps. That's a challenge, especially that part of the order."

Wei-Yin Chen (8-5) earned the win after allowing three runs on six hits over seven frames.

Heading to the hill for the O's tonight will be righty Miguel Gonzalez, who is 1-1 with a 2.59 ERA. Gonzalez lost for the first time on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers, as he allowed three runs and six hits with five walks in 5 2/3 innings.

"I thought Miguel was real good, all things considered," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "I thought he built on the last good outing. I like what I see."

Getting the call for the Indians tonight will be veteran righty Derek Lowe, who has lost four of his last five decisions. Lowe lost his first start out of the All-Star break on Sunday in Toronto, as he the Blue Jays reached him for three runs and three hits in six innings. He also walked four batters and fell to 8-7 to go along with a 4.43 ERA.

Lowe, who leads the Majors with a 2.99 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio, failed to record double-digit groundouts for just the fourth time this season.

"He pitched well, there is nothing to complain about," Cleveland skipper Manny Acta said. "He gave us six solid innings, we just couldn't do anything offensively."

Lowe beat the O's earlier in the season and is 8-8 lifetime against them with a 4.49 ERA in 35 games (17 starts).

He will be trying to help the Indians bounce back from a 6-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Ubaldo Jimenez (8-9) was tagged in defeat for seven hits and five runs, walking five and fanning five over 5 2/3 frames for the Indians, who have dropped four of their last six.

After not being shut out for 57 games to open the year, the Indians have been shut out four times in the last 35 games, three times in the last 14 games and twice in the last five games.

The Indians, who took three of four in Baltimore from June 28-July 1, has won nine of their last 12 versus the O's, including the last four and seven of the last nine in Cleveland.


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