The Cleveland Indians try to put the brakes on a five-game losing streak and avoid falling under .500 this evening when they open a four- game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
After losing the final two games of its set with the Houston Astros, Cleveland was swept in a three-game series by the New York Yankees, culminating with a 5-4 loss on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. Michael Brantley, Shelley Duncan, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis each knocked in a run for the Indians, who are 1-5 so far on a 10-game road trip.
Ubaldo Jimenez (7-6) allowed four runs on four hits over six full frames. He struck out seven and walked four.
The Indians are a mere 11-19 since May 24 and have dropped six games in the American League Central standings in that time. They now sit in second place, 2 1/2 games back of the Chicago White Sox.
"Obviously the outcomes haven't been favorable but we're not too far away," first baseman Casey Kotchman said. "We're just trying to stay as positive as we can and things change around over 162 games."
Heading to the hill for the Indians tonight will be righty Zach McAllister, who is 1-1 with a 3.96 ERA. McAllister did not get a decision on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers, but pitched well, allowing two runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 4-2 win.
This will be his first appearance against the Orioles.
Baltimore, meanwhile, also comes into tonight's tilt slumping after losing six of eight to fall five games back of the Yankees in the AL East. The Orioles were outscored 20-4 in losing both games of their series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim that ended with a 13-1 rout on Wednesday.
Starter Jason Hammel (8-3) entered the game with a 19-inning scoreless streak but gave up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings to snap a four-start unbeaten streak.
"They're swinging the bats pretty well, at least they have these two games," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the Angels. "Every mistake you made they were on."
Tonight, though, the O's turn to Taiwanese lefty Wei-Yin Chen, who had a three-start winning streak stopped on Saturday with a loss to the Washington Nationals. Chen gave up three runs (2 earned) and six hits in five innings of that one, dropping him to 7-3 to go along with a 3.38 ERA.
"Today, I didn't pitch good, and I didn't have good control and good command today, and they (all) found out about it right away," Chen said afterward, through interpreter Tim Lin.
He has never faced the Indians.
Cleveland won five of its seven matchups with the Orioles last season.