Published July 23, 2012
| Sports Network
The Baltimore Orioles hope to wrap up their eight-game road trip in sweeping fashion this evening when they complete their four-game set with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Baltimore won its fifth straight game on Sunday, as Zach Britton threw six shutout innings in only his second start of the year, and the Orioles held on for a 4-3 victory.
Another win on Monday would give Baltimore its first four-game sweep in Cleveland since Sept. 24-26, 1971. The O's also haven't won four in a row from the Tribe since 1993.
Britton (1-0) notched his first win since his up-and-down rookie campaign of 2011, when he won five of his first six games before faltering down the stretch. On Sunday, he limited the offensively-challenged Indians to four hits and two walks, as the O's improved to 5-2 on their trek.
J.J. Hardy homered and drove in three runs while Wilson Betemit added a home run in the win.
The Indians, meanwhile, can't seem to call upon the offense that helped them stay above .500 for the first half of the season, losing their fourth straight and failing to get more than three runs for the eighth time in 10 games since the All-Star break (3-7).
After managing only three late runs on Sunday, including a Carlos Santana two- run homer, Cleveland is below .500 (47-48) for the first time since April 14.
"We need to figure out something to get us going," admitted Indians catcher Lou Marson. "I don't know what it is, but we definitely have to figure something out."
Getting the call for the Orioles tonight will be righty Tommy Hunter, who was terrific in his last start. Hunter beat the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, holding them to a run and six hits in 7 1/3 innings to run his record to 4-4 to go along with a 5.71 ERA.
Hunter was lit up for five runs in a 1 2/3 inning relief outing back on June 30, but is 1-0 with a 6.14 ERA in three games (2 starts) against them.
Cleveland, meanwhile, will look to get back on track behind right-handed Justin Masterson, who is 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA. Masterson did not get a decision on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, but did not pitch well, as he surrendered four runs and seven hits, while walking seven batters in only 4 1/2 frames of his team's 10-6 win.
Masterson beat the O's earlier in the year and is 5-3 lifetime against them with a 4.74 ERA in 11 games (7 starts).
The Indians took three of four in Baltimore from June 28-July 1.