O's sweep twin bill, move into virtual tie for 1st
By Connor Smolensky and Todd Karpovich
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles hit three home runs and scored six runs in the fourth inning to complete a doubleheader and series sweep over the Indians with an 8-0 win Sunday that moved Baltimore into a virtual tie for first place in the American League East for the first time since April 19.
"It's a return for that [good play], but it can be very fleeting," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about being in first place this early in the season. "The only thing I look at is the loss column every now and then. I don't pay much attention to the other part of it. See if you can stay engaged and roll the dice in September."
"He got through [the lineup] the first time with the error that led to the two runs, which is unfortunate," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But the second time through, once they had seen him, he left some balls up that hurt him."
The Indians' bats continued to struggle as they were held to eight hits and were shut out for the second time on Sunday. Orioles righty Chris Tillman rebounded from his last start, which lasted 1 1/3 innings, with a seven-inning gem at Camden Yards.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED O's bats stay hot: After hitting a pair of homers en route to the victory in the first game of the doubleheader, the Orioles used the long ball to pull away again in the nightcap. Davis, Snider and Parmelee each hit home runs in a six-run fourth inning that sank the Indians. Manny Machado also hit a two-run double that inning and has 20 RBIs in his past 20 games. The Orioles hit six homers in the three-game series. More >
"We've got a lot of guys with a track record and they're going to do certain things," Showalter said.
Murata overpowered in debut: Murata's debut lasted just 3 1/3 innings as the rookie gave up four hits, five runs (three earned), one walk and two home runs while notching a pair of strikeouts. The righty got a 1-2-3 inning to begin his outing, but he gave up two runs in the second, which were unearned due to a Jason Kipnis error with two outs. Murata got out of the third with no trouble before getting pulled with one out in the fourth after conceding solo home runs to Davis and Snider. More >
"I thought he had very good poise," Francona said. "I love the way he was out there enjoying competing, you could tell [when] somebody made a good play. All the things came as advertised. The teammate he is, things like that. With that point in the game, we're trying to keep it right where it was and we didn't do that."
Tillman cruises: Tillman won for the fourth time in his past five starts, throwing seven innings of four-hit ball. The right-hander had six strikeouts and did not allow a walk. Tillman also took advantage of being staked with an early lead, unlike his previous start against the Blue Jays when he gave up six runs in 1 1/3 innings after the Orioles scored seven in the second.
"I've been there so many times," Tillman said. "It's tough. You sit in the dugout so long, and you've got to go out and make pitches right away. I wasn't capable of doing that last time. It was good to be able to do it this time. I'm happy about it."
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The Orioles got their first season series win over the Indians since 2006 and are 7-0-1 in their past eight series, with the split coming in Philadelphia.
The Orioles had not recorded shutouts in both games of a doubleheader since Sept. 6, 1974, in Cleveland, according to STATS LLC.
Francona was tossed with one out left in the ninth inning following a called third strike on Ryan Raburn. The skipper was not so mad at the actual call as he was at the way he was treated by home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa.
"We had one out to go and he was kind looking back, and I told him to let it go," Francona said. "He was waving me off. I think if umpires want to be respected, they have to show respect back. I've been doing this too long to be treated like that. That's not the way it's supposed to work." More >
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: The Indians will begin a four-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg on Monday with Cody Anderson making his second Major League start at 7:10 p.m. ET. Anderson's first career start also came against the Rays on June 21, when he received a no-decision after tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings.
Orioles: Baltimore opens a four-game home series against the Rangers on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Bud Norris will make his third career appearance against his former team as he tries to get his season on track. The right-hander has taken the loss in four of his past six starts.