BALTIMORE (AP) — Austin Jackson had three hits and three RBIs, Erik Gonzalez homered and the Cleveland Indians put on another offensive show at the expense of the Baltimore Orioles in a 6-3 victory Thursday night.
The Indians won three of four from the Orioles to complete a 7-1 road trip that began with a four-game sweep of Minnesota. Cleveland has scored at least five runs and reached double figures in hits over nine consecutive games, and homered in 11 straight.
Baltimore’s beleaguered pitching staff was overmatched against that kind of firepower. The Orioles were outscored 28-10 in the series and now have given up at least five runs in 19 straight games, one short of the major league record set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.
Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger (3-3) walked four and hit two batters in five innings, but he only gave up two runs to earn his first win in five starts since May 20.
The victory lifted the Indians a season-high seven games over .500 (39-32) and lengthened their lead over second-place Minnesota in the AL Central to 2½ games.
Seth Smith homered for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of 15.
Baltimore played without manager Buck Showalter, who left the team to attend the birth of his first grandchild. Bench coach John Russell took over as manager.
After Smith put the Orioles ahead with his fourth leadoff homer of the season, Jackson hit an RBI triple off Wade Miley (3-5) and scored on a single by Yan Gomes in the second inning.
Baltimore pulled even in the bottom half when Clevinger hit two batters and walked Jonathan Schoop with the bases loaded.
In the third, Jackson followed a pair of walks with a two-out, two-run single.
Gonzalez hit a solo shot off Richard Bleier in the sixth to make it 5-2 and extend Baltimore’s dubious streak.
Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez went 1 for 4, ending his run of successive multihit games at nine — the team’s longest streak since 1936.
Ramirez hasn’t had a day off since May 21, so Indians manager Terry Francona asked him if he wanted to take a break.
“He’s like, ‘Not now,'” Francona said. “I get it, man. I’ll just stay out of his way.”
Clevinger was recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the game, and RHP Cody Allen was placed on the paternity list.
Indians: LF Michael Brantley (sprained ankle) took batting practice Thursday and is expected to do running drills Friday. Francona said Brantley, who is eligible to return Monday, shouldn’t need a rehab assignment.
Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day (shoulder) is expected to come off the 10-day disabled list Friday. … CF Adam Jones was given the night off. It was a preventive measure, because Jones missed time recently with a sore hip and Baltimore’s next six games are on artificial turf. … Closer Zach Britton (forearm strain) pitched a scoreless inning for Class A Delmarva on Thursday. He will pitch again for the Shorebirds on Saturday.
Indians: Trevor Bauer (6-5, 5.54 ERA) makes his team-high 15th start in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Twins.
Orioles: Back in the starting rotation after being exiled to the bullpen, Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2, 6.25 ERA) helps launch a three-game series on the road against AL East rival Tampa Bay.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
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