Cleveland blanks the Orioles 4-0 behind Mike Clevinger

Granted the bar had not been set very high, but Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman had his best start of the year this afternoon. But Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger pitched better.

Clevinger pitched a complete-game two-hitter, as the Tribe beat the Orioles 4-0. He walked two and fanned three to improve to 2-0 with an ERA of 1.75. Clevinger threw 107 pitches, 70 or strikes.

The Orioles fall to 6-15 for the season, have lost seven of eight and nine of their past 11 games. Cleveland is 10-8.

The Orioles right-hander began today 0-3 with an ERA of 11.91. In his most recent start, April 13 at Boston, he allowed six runs in two-plus innings. He had given up 22 hits and 15 runs over 11 1/3 innings with 10 walks and just three strikeouts.

But today, he went to the sixth trailing 2-0. That was when Cleveland added two solo homers to open a 4-0 lead. Jose Ramirez led off the frame with his third hit, drilling an 87 mph fastball for a 3-0 lead. Three batters later, Yonder Alonso crushed a Tillman fastball that was 88 mph over the right-field wall. It went 414 feet, was the 94th ball ever hit onto Eutaw Street and opened a 4-0 lead.

Earlier, Cleveland scored to lead 1-0 in the first. A one-out walk and single was followed by a wild pitch and Michael Brantley’s RBI grounder. Yan Gomes hit the first of three Cleveland homers off Tillman in the visitor’s fourth. His blast to left center made it 2-0 and was his third homer.

Cleveland had some chances to break the game open early on today, but went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position the first two innings.

Tillman went a season-high six innings, allowing eight hits and four runs with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw some nice breaking pitches among his 83 pitches. Yet, he took another loss to fall to 0-4 with an ERA of 9.87.

The Orioles got almost nothing going against Clevinger, and they scored three or fewer runs for the eighth time in the last 11 games and 14th time on the season. They were shutout for the second time. The first was April 1 at Camden Yards vs. Minnesota.

Sisco Throws Black Gear Sidebar.jpgIn the loss, O’s catcher Chance Sisco threw out three of three runners trying to steal. He has caught seven of 11 on the year. The three runners caught stealing was the most by an O’s catcher since Matt Wieters got three vs. Toronto on Aug. 25, 2012.

In the third game of this series on Sunday afternoon, right-hander Andrew Cashner (1-2, 3.00 ERA) faces two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (2-1, 1.52 ERA) at 1:05 p.m.

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