|4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, June 28, 2019
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland Attendance: 21,248
Means, Clevinger return as O's host Indians
Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles
- With a 16-7 record this month, Cleveland is tied for the second-best record in the majors in June with the Nationals (Braves -- 18-7). Cleveland is averaging 1.96 home runs per game in June, after averaging just 1.05 per game prior.
- The Orioles have lost 13 of their last 14 games to fall 30 games out of first place in the AL East. Baltimore has either lost or tied 18 consecutive series, the longest such streak within a single season by a team since the 1997 Phillies (23 straight).
- Mike Clevinger and John Means will both be starting after brief stints on the IL. In three starts this season, Clevinger has held opponents to a .097 batting average (5-for-55) while striking out 29 batters in 16.2 innings pitched (15.66 K/9 IP).
- Means has made seven career home starts in his Orioles career, pitching to a 1.95 ERA over those starts. The last Baltimore pitcher with a lower ERA in his first seven career home starts was Zack Britton (1.91).
- Since the start of the 2011 season, Carlos Santana has 210 home runs and 856 walks. The only other player in the majors with 200+ home runs and 750+ walks over that time is Mike Trout (262 HR, 762 BB).
- Jonathan Villar (10 HR and 15 SB) is one of three players in MLB this season with at least 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases, along with Christian Yelich and Tim Anderson.
- Angels land Rendon with $245M, 7 years
- MLB adopts 3-batter minimum rule for Ps
- Jays sign P Roark to 2-year, $24M deal
- Dodgers, P Treinen agree to 1 year, $10M
- Study: Seams on balls behind HR surge
The Cleveland Indians and the host Baltimore Orioles will both feature starters coming off of injury issues when the teams meet in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.
For Cleveland, Mike Clevinger (1-1, 2.70 ERA) returns from the injured list after he missed one start due to a sprained ankle suffered June 17 versus the Texas Rangers. Clevinger had just come back from a muscle strain in his back that sidelined him for more than two months.
Clevinger has been terrific against the Orioles in his career. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five career starts, giving up just six earned runs in 30 innings while throwing one shutout.
John Means (6-4, 2.67 ERA) has been Baltimore's most effective starter this season. He's a left-handed rookie and a big surprise, but the Orioles are short of good starting pitching, which is why Means has been such a big help to them.
He missed his last turn in the rotation after going on the injured list due to a shoulder strain. Means told the Baltimore media it wasn't a big deal and that he'd be ready to go in his next start. As of Thursday, that appeared to be the case.
Means' only start against Cleveland came on May 18, when he allowed three runs on five hits in five innings, taking the loss in a 4-1 defeat.
For the Indians, the series is the beginning of an eight-game road trip -- which also takes them to Kansas City and Cincinnati -- before the All-Star break.
Cleveland has been hot this month. The Indians won five of six on a just-concluded homestand and are 15-6 in their past 21 games. Overall in June, they've belted 45 homers, a big reason for the success.
Jake Bauers and Tyler Naquin both homered Wednesday in a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals. But Thursday's off day was much-needed, especially for the bullpen, which has been very busy recently.
"Our bullpen really deserves a day away from the ballpark," manager Terry Francona said, per Cleveland.com. "If they come in to throw (on Thursday), they should be released."
The Orioles' bullpen also has been overused, for two reasons. The starters haven't been able to go deep into games, and when relievers are in, they're not getting outs frequently enough.
The Orioles have made numerous moves in search of more help for the 'pen, regularly shuttling pitchers between Baltimore and Triple-A Norfolk, but they have yet to find enough quality options.
They made another set of moves Wednesday, sending right-hander Matt Wotherspoon back to Norfolk after a loss to San Diego while calling up left-hander Paul Fry earlier in the day.
Baltimore promoted Fry after placing left-hander Josh Rogers on the 10-day injured list. Rogers might need surgery on his elbow after testing showed some structural damage. He's waiting for the results of a second opinion, according to the Orioles' website.
One way or another, the pitching staff has put the team in too many holes.
"Recently, we're giving up way too many runs, and it's really hard to come back," manager Brandon Hyde told reporters after the Orioles 10-5 loss to the Padres on Wednesday. "You score first and you're looking for a shutdown inning, and there is a three-spot on the other half, and that's tough to come back from on a nightly basis.
"Our pitchers aren't trying to do that, they're not trying to give up homers. They're busting their butt. It's just not happening."
--Field Level Media
Updated June 27, 2019