After sporting a team average of .308 and scoring 5.3 runs per game in the first nine games of the Buck Showalter era, Thursday night the O’s offense got shutdown by a rookie right-hander and two relievers as Cleveland topped the O’s 4-1.
The Orioles are now 8-2 since Showalter took over and were denied their first three-game sweep at Cleveland since April of 1987.
Jeanmar Gomez, the 22-year-old making just his fourth Major League start, held the Orioles to one run and six hits over six innings and is now 3-0, 1.54.
The O’s were down 3-0 when they scored their only run. Ty Wigginton singled to center in the sixth to score Josh Bell, who had doubled.
Wigginton has tied his season high with a nine-game batting streak and now has 12 RBI over his past 14 games.
Cleveland, now 14-13 in the second half and 48-67 overall, scored single runs in the 1st, 2nd and 5th off Kevin Millwood, who falls to 2-12, 5.74. The Tribe added an insurance run in the eighth.
Millwood gave up nine hits and the three runs over seven innings, throwing 113 pitches. He recorded the O’s ninth quality start over the last ten games and the starters’ ERA is 2.45 in that time. Baltimore starters have worked six or more innings for ten consecutive games.
The O’s win streak ended at four as they were seeking their first five-game victory stretch since June 17-21 of last year.
The O’s fall to 3-3 vs. Cleveland, 16-41 on the road and 40-75 overall.
They begin a weekend series Friday night at Tampa with Jeremy Guthrie (6-11, 4.04) facing James Shields (10-10, 4.91). Guthrie is 3-1, 1.77 over his last five starts.
Best ten-game starts by Orioles managers:
9-1: Davey Johnson, 1996
8-2: Buck Showalter, 2010 & Lum Harris, 1961 & Ray Miller in 1998
7-3: Earl Weaver in 1968
Coming Friday morning: An interview with O’s scouting director Joe Jordan, three days before the deadline to sign draft picks.