Clevinger tosses 2-hitter to carry Indians past Orioles 4-0
BALTIMORE — Mike Clevinger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.
Clevinger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days’ rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.
The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.
It was Clevinger’s 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.
While Clevinger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.
Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.
Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevinger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.
Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.
Indians: LHP Ryan Merritt (left knee sprain) is on the brink of completing extended spring training in Arizona and moving to the next phase of the rehabilitative process. “He’s starting to feel pretty good,” manager Terry Francona said.
Orioles: OF Trey Mancini was sidelined with a swollen right knee, an injury he sustained Friday night by sliding into the wall in foul territory chasing a ball. A CT scan came back clean, but Mancini received stitches and will be sidelined for a few days. … LHP Zach Britton completed fielding drills for the first time since he tore his right Achilles tendon in December. The closer hopes to return in June.
Indians: Defending AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (2-1, 1.52 ERA) seeks to win his third straight start Sunday. In his last appearance against Baltimore, Kluber tossed a three-hit shutout last June.
Orioles: Andrew Cashner (1-2, 3.00) makes his fourth start with Baltimore. He’s 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA in two career starts vs. Cleveland.