Timely hits elude Tribe in loss to O's
Indians bang out 12 hits, but strand 13 baserunners
BALTIMORE -- The Indians certainly had their chances Friday night at Camden Yards. They put runners in scoring position in seven innings, loaded the bases twice in the first five frames and forced Orioles starter Jason Berken into several jams.
But the Indians couldn't get the right hits at the right times to capitalize on those opportunities. They left 13 on base and those missed chances proved costly as the Orioles rallied from their slow start and rolled to a 13-4 victory before 13,961.
Baltimore (53-76) went 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position and finished with five extra-base hits, scoring in five of the eight innings it batted.
But the Indians (57-71) didn't fare nearly as well despite getting almost as many chances. Cleveland finished with 12 hits but went just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position, and one of those hits came in the ninth inning, when the game was long gone.
Even though the Indians got four extra-base hits, they just missed on too many chances.
"We left some runners on out there today when it was still a close ballgame," said Indians manager Eric Wedge. "I actually felt like we had some decent [at-bats], but we didn't have much to show for it, and then it really got away from us there in the end."
The Indians got single runs in the first two innings off Berken (4-11) for a quick 2-0 lead after a 56-minute rain delay at the start. But the Orioles bounced back to get two off starter Fausto Carmona (3-9) in the second, plus three in the fourth before knocking him out during a one-run fifth. Baltimore broke it open with three in the sixth and four in the seventh.
Berken battled through five innings, keeping the Indians from scoring when they loaded the bases in both the third and the fifth. The Orioles were holding on to a 5-2 lead in the fifth when Luis Valbuena came up with the bases loaded and lined a shot to right, but it went right to Nick Markakis to end the inning.
"With runners in scoring position, we don't do [what] we need to do," said Indians third baseman Jhonny Peralta, who went 2-for-5 with an RBI. "A couple of the guys hit the ball really good, but right at somebody."
Carmona had been pitching better of late and was coming off a sparkling one-run, five-hit effort in seven innings that helped the Indians to a win over the Mariners on Sunday. That was his first victory since May 14, but the right-hander struggled in this game, giving up six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
"It's a little bit disappointing," Carmona said. "I put some balls on the ground and some of them weren't caught."
Carmona is trying to put everything back together after a tough stretch where he went down to the Minors. Wedge said it's going to take some time.
"I think [he's] still a work in progress," Wedge said. "He had a tough day today. This is where you have to evaluate yourself. It's just part of the process. I don't expect him to be like he was last time every time out, but he has to be better than he was today."
Carmona often fell behind in the counts and had some trouble finding the plate. He struck out four but walked three as the Orioles found -- and took advantage of -- several scoring chances.
The Indians started quickly when Asdrubal Cabrera got a one-out double in the first off Berken and scored on a Peralta single for a quick 1-0 lead. The Indians made it 2-0 in the second, when Andy Marte's sacrifice fly scored Valbuena, who started the inning with a double.
But the Orioles began to turn the game around when they tied it with two runs in the second inning. They took the lead for good on a Matt Wieters RBI single in the three-run fourth. Ty Wigginton's RBI single in the fifth ended Carmona's night and made it 6-2.
Felix Pie got a solo homer in the sixth, and Wieters added a two-run single later in that inning. Markakis blasted a three-run homer in the seventh off Jess Todd. Pie and Markakis both had three hits and three RBIs, while Wieters went 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.