Baltimore, MD – All the Indians needed was a little offense to break their longest losing streak of the year.
Johnny Damon, Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera all went deep on Thursday, helping Cleveland snap a five-game skid in a 7-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Indians were coming off a sweep at the hands of the Yankees as well as a series loss to the Houston Astros where they scored 11 runs total. Combined with allowing at least five runs in each of those games, it wasn't a recipe for success.
However, Zach McAllister (2-1) provided the team the best start its had in a while, allowing only two runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He had been recalled from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day.
"No, not really," McAllister said regarding the pressure of pitching amidst a five-game losing streak. "Everyone knows we want to win and need a win. That's the expectation that we need to win, and I was able to help them out."
Wei-Yin Chen (7-4), who has been part of the reason for the Orioles' surprising success this year, had one of his lesser outings by giving up six runs, six hits and three walks in 6 1/3 frames.
J.J. Hardy accounted for all of Baltimore's offense with a two-run homer as the O's fell for the seventh time in nine games.
"I think it's all mental," Hardy said of the recent woes. "The more it's brought up that we're struggling, it works more as a negative. We just need to relax."
Chen got out of the first inning on 10 fastballs, but it didn't come as easy in the second.
He suddenly lost his control, going 3-0 to the first two hitters of the frame, which resulted in a single and a walk. Two batters later, after a first-pitch ball, Damon blasted his fourth homer of the year to right-center.
In the fifth, Choo extended Cleveland's lead to four with a two-out home run to left.
McAllister allowed at least one baserunner in each of the first four innings, but came away unscathed each time. Not so much in the fifth, when Ryan Flaherty singled leading off and scored on Hardy's two-run shot.
The righty's night ended in the sixth when he allowed a two-out double on his 105th pitch, the second-most he's thrown in nine major league starts. Joe Smith was able to come in and induce a groundout from Mark Reynolds before tossing a scoreless seventh.
In the top of the seventh, however, the Indians made sure there'd be no comeback from the Orioles. Lou Marson doubled with one out and was followed by a Choo walk, which ended Chen's night. Luis Ayala came on in relief and was greeted by Cabrera with a three-run blast to right for a 7-2 cushion.
McAllister threw 112 pitches on May 12 against the Red Sox...This was the fourth time the Indians have hit three or more home runs this season, the last coming on June 18...Matt Wieters stole his first base of the season and second of his career in 434 games.