This game had Yogi Berra‘s “deja vu all over again” unfolding from the beginning. For the second game in a row, Baltimore’s Mark Trumbo smacked a homer in the first inning to notch a 3-run lead out of the gate. The Tribe never recovered to lose Saturday’s contest 5-2.
But this game was even more frustrating than Friday’s loss. The Indians should have been out of the inning before Trumbo even came to the plate. Adam Jones and Manny Machado each had soft bloop singles to put two men on for the Orioles. With one out, Chris Davis — who isn’t exactly The Flash — hit a bullet one-hopper to Jason Kipnis, looking like the perfect set-up for a tailor-made double play to end the inning. But Francisco Lindor‘s turn at second was just a hair slow and Davis really hustled to beat the throw to first by an eyelash, allowing the first run to score and keeping the inning alive for Trumbo’s 2-run dinger.
For the first eight innings, whenever the Tribe looked like they might get something going, they grounded into double plays. In three consecutive innings, in fact, the O’s turned two to squelch any glimmer of a Tribe rally.
The Indians finally broke through in the ninth to avoid a shutout. Kipnis and Lindor led off with back-to-back singles, and Lonnie Chisenhall drove them both home with a double down the right field line. But it was too little, too late and the O’s are now poised for the series sweep on Sunday.
Overall, Josh Tomlin didn’t pitch a bad game. As noted, the hits that led to the first big inning were flukes, and the pitch that Trumbo pelted wasn’t a bad one. It was on the inside part of the plate and the slugger pulled his hands in and turned on it nicely. Tomlin did make a mistake in the seventh, leaving a beach ball over the middle that Pedro Alvarez mashed against the gates at the back of the right field bleachers for a solo home run blast. Other than that, Tomlin scattered 3 other singles and struck out 8.
Jeff Manship yielded the other run on 3 singles in the seventh. That inning should have ended sooner, too, when Jose Ramirez muffed a grounder that could have been another double play to get the Tribe out of trouble.
Cleveland has uncharacteristically scored only 3 runs in the last two games combined. The team has hit well in Camden Yards during the past couple of seasons. Let’s hope they get back to producing runs on Sunday. Because the O’s have been putting up too many 0’s against the Tribe these first two games of the series.