Johnny Damon loves facing the Orioles and he loves hitting at Camden Yards.
The demonstration continued tonight with his three-run homer off Wei-Yin Chen in the second inning that gave Cleveland a 3-0 lead.
Damon has 33 career homers against the Orioles, including 22 in this ballpark. Eighty of his 128 RBIs have been accumulated in Baltimore.
Chen has thrown 51 pitches in three innings.
Chen lasted only five innings in his last start against the Nationals, allowing two earned runs (three total) and six hits. He had permitted two earned runs or fewer in three of his last four starts before tonight.
The Orioles have one hit in two innings against Indians right-hander Zach McAllister, and it came on a J.J. Hardy double in the first.
Hardy must be heating up. That bloop single last night got him going again.
Down on the farm, Single-A Frederick’s Dylan Bundy has retired the first nine Winston-Salem batters he’s faced tonight, striking out three of them.
Dontrelle Willis, making his first start for Triple-A Norfolk, gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the first inning against Columbus. He also struck out two. He’s got four strikeouts through two innings.
Five players from Double-A Bowie were chosen to participate in the Eastern League All-Star Game: outfielder Robbie Widlansky, infielders Jonathan Schoop and Buck Britton, and pitchers Zach Clark and Pedro Viola.
Update: The Orioles had a hit with a runner in scoring position tonight, but they’re losing, 4-0, in the top of the fifth inning.
Shin-Soo Choo homered with two outs in the fifth, only the second time this season that Chen has allowed more than one home run in a start.
Wilson Betemit reached on an infield hit in the fourth inning after Matt Wieters singled and stole the second base of his major league career. Betemit has 18 hits in his last 35 at-bats. Mark Reynolds struck out to end the rally.
All four of the Orioles’ hits tonight have come with two outs.
Willis lasted 2 2/3 innings tonight for Norfolk. He allowed four runs and six hits, walked two and struck out four. He threw 70 pitches, 43 for strikes.
Bundy allowed one run and four hits in five innings, with no walks and five strikeouts. He threw 56 pitches.
For the second time in two starts, Bobby Bundy was injured on the same night that his brother pitched. He left tonight’s game for Double-A Bowie with two outs in the fourth after being hit on the leg by a line drive from Binghamton’s Jefrey Marte.
Bundy left a June 23 start against Reading with two outs in the fifth inning after being struck on the left leg by a line drive from Reading’s Sebastian Valle.
Update II: Hardy’s slump is over. A double and now a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth.
Indians 4, Orioles 2.
Hardy has 12 homers this season. The most recent was June 8 against the Phillies.
Update III: Luis Ayala replaced Chen with two on and one out in the seventh, and Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run homer to extend Cleveland’s lead to 7-2.
Chen was charged with six runs, tying his career high, and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He also gave up six runs to the Nationals on May 20.
Another note from the farm: Left-hander Rich Rundles replaced Willis and had to be helped off the field with an injury in the fifth inning. I don’t have any more details. Brad Bergesen replaced him.