Ramirez, Indians blast Orioles
BALTIMORE — The Cleveland Indians figured it would only be a matter of time before their struggling offense provided some support to a solid starting rotation.
Jose Ramirez and the rest of the batting order finally got into a groove Sunday, and the result was a 14-hit attack that carried Corey Kluber and the Indians past the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.
Cleveland came into the game with a .211 team batting average and ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs scored. On this day, however, Ramirez hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run drive in the ninth, and Yan Gomes had three hits to lift his batting average 41 points to .261.
“When things are not going my way, I stay positive and work it,” Ramirez said through a translator. “I know eventually I’m going to break out.”
Ramirez has three homers in two games and a team-leading seven for the season.
“I try not to do too much,” Ramirez said. “I just look for a good pitch and then I hit it somewhere.”
Kluber yielded two home runs to Manny Machado, but the Indians twice came from behind before tacking on three runs in the ninth.
“I thought we did a pretty good job,” manager Terry Francona said. “When they came back, we came back at them. We kept pushing and took some better swings.”
Kluber (3-1) allowed three runs and six hits over seven-plus innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner walked none and struck out four to move past Charles Nagy into sixth place on the Indians’ career strikeout list with 1,238.
“It doesn’t matter if you feel you pitched well or didn’t pitch well. The goal is to end the game with more runs they do,” Kluber said. “That’s what we did.”
Machado’s third multihomer game of the season wasn’t enough to prevent the Orioles from losing for the ninth time in 10 games, a skid that has dropped them 10 games under .500 (6-16).
“You know what? There’s no excuse for what’s happening,” Machado said. “We need to play better overall. Nobody is in here pointing fingers. We are in here together, and we are going to ride or die together.”
Andrew Cashner (1-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven. He’s 0-3 with 7.41 ERA in three lifetime appearances against the Indians.
After Machado connected in the first inning, Cleveland went up 2-1 in the fourth when Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso hit successive doubles following a leadoff homer by Ramirez.
Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. After Machado homered, Adam Jones doubled and scored on a single by Chris Davis.
A pair of walks and run-scoring singles by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley put the Indians up 4-3 in the fifth.
“Once you get the lead, you can’t give it up,” Cashner lamented.
Indians: CF Bradley Zimmer was a late scratch with a mild right ankle sprain. He was replaced by Rajai Davis.
Orioles: LF Trey Mancini missed a second straight game with a swollen right knee. … DH Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) will begin a three-game stint with Double-A Bowie on Monday, then play three games with Triple-A Norfolk later in the week, manager Buck Showalter said. He won’t be rushed to return. “It’s important we get it right the first time,” Showalter said.
Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin threw a side session Saturday and is expected to start Tuesday against the Cubs. Francona opted to skip Tomlin’s last scheduled start Wednesday to reset the rotation after Cleveland had two straight games postponed last weekend.
Indians: Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 3.48 ERA) starts the series finale Monday night. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27.
Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57) makes his fifth start of the season after allowing 27 hits — including six homers — over 21 innings.