O’s col­lect just six hits as road woes con­tinue

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY ED­UARDO A. ENCINA


CLEVE­LAND — Bal­ti­more Ori­oles Manager Buck Showalter didn’t in­tend to use the el­e­ments as an ex­cuse to ex­plain his team’s 2-1 loss to the Cleve­land In­di­ans on Satur­day, but he was quick to point out the ob­sta­cles righthander Ubaldo Jimenez faced on a dry, blus­tery day at Pro­gres­sive Field as well as his hit­ters’ strug­gles with shad­ows as the game pro­gressed fol­low­ing a late-af­ter­noon start.

The re­sults, how­ever, were mu­chof the same for the in­con­sis­tent Ori­oles of­fense, which failed to cap­i­tal­ize on Jimenez’s abil­ity to work his way out of trou­ble in ev­ery in­ning, giv­ing up just one run de­spite al­low­ing 12 base run­ners and ty­ing a ca­reer high with six walks in five innings.

The Ori­oles (25-30) must now win Sun­day’s se­ries fi­nale to avoid los­ing three straight se­ries for the first time this sea­son. They are 2-4 on their two-city, seven-game trip to Hous­ton and Cleve­land (27-28) and fell to 10-18 on the road this sea­son.

Their only run came on Manny Machado’s homer in the third in­ning, but oth­er­wise In­di­ans righthander Danny Salazar (6-1) didn’t al­low much, strik­ing out 10 and walk­ing one over seven innings.

“One of those days when you knew runs were go­ing to be at a min­i­mum be­cause Salazar is tough and the shad­ows and a lot of chal­lenges that pitch­ers and hit­ters faced to­day,” Showalter said of the af­ter­noon game. “They did a bet­ter job han­dling it.”

De­spite bat­tling his con­trol through­out, Jimenez worked his way out of trou­ble al­most ev­ery in­ning. Nick Swisher’s two-out sin­gle in the third tied the score at 1.

Brach (3-2), mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance since al­low­ing three runs in two-thirds of an in­ning Mon­day in Hous­ton, re­tired the first two bat­ters he faced in the sixth but then walked Kip­nis. San­tana laced a 94-mph first-pitch fast­ball into the right field cor­ner, al­low­ing Kip­nis to score from first.

Jimenez— who­has re­ceived 3.3 runs of sup­port per start, the most of any Ori­oles starter— didn’t get much back­ing Satur­day as Bal­ti­more fin­ished with just six hits.

The Ori­oles put the lead­off­man on base in the sixth, sev­enth and eighth innings but couldn’t take ad­van­tage.

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