Indians aim for two in a row against Orioles
Corey Kluber will try and give the Cleveland Indians a second consecutive victory over the slumping Baltimore Orioles when the teams meet in the third game of their series on Sunday at Camden Yards.
The teams have split the first two matchups of the four-game series. Baltimore won Friday before the Indians bounced back for a 4-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Kluber has a 2-1 record and a 1.52 ERA. He has a 2-1 career record and a 2.76 ERA against the Orioles (6-15).
He last pitched when the Indians (10-8) played the Twins in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, picking up the victory as the Indians beat the Twins 6-1. Kluber allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings in that game.
The veteran is likely hoping the Indians can swing more like they've done in the past few seasons. They showed some of that offense on Saturday with solo homers from Yan Gomes, Jose Ramirez (who finished with three hits) and Yonder Alonso against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman.
None of those three are batting higher than .221, though, but the Indians are trying to remain patient.
"As players, we all want results," Jason Kipnis of the Indians told Cleveland.com. "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."
The Orioles also want to see results at the plate, and right-hander Andrew Cashner could use some support. He has pitched well so far, but like Dylan Bundy does not have much to show for it.
Cashner (1-2, 3.00 ERA) has given the Orioles three consecutive good starts, something the team has needed in the early days of the season. However, Cashner has not done well against Cleveland in his career, posting an 0-2 record plus a 9.90 ERA in two games.
Baltimore has scored only three runs in the first two games of the series but also is missing players like Trey Mancini, Mark Trumbo and Jonathan Schoop to injuries, which is hurting the lineup.
The Orioles got just two hits in the loss Saturday as right-hander Mike Clevinger retired the final 15 Baltimore hitters for his first complete game.
"There was very little margin for error for (Tillman)," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We hit a couple of balls hard, but that's about it."
On the injury front for the Orioles, Mancini did not play after injuring his right knee while sliding to try and catch a foul ball Friday night. Showalter said an MRI done Saturday was fine, and they will see how Mancini feels Sunday.
Mancini had a CT scan and also a few stitches were put in. Craig Gentry took over as the leadoff hitter for the Orioles, a job Mancini had done well in recent days.
Zach Britton (Achilles tendon surgery) told the media Saturday that he felt good after throwing off a half-mound for the first time Friday. He did more workouts Saturday, and Showalter expects him to throw off the half-mound again, possibly Sunday.
Mark Trumbo (right quadriceps) could go on another rehab assignment in the next few days. He tried one at Double-A Bowie recently, but it was shut down quickly.
Updated April 21, 2018