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Jun 25, 2024 3:23 am

Guardians, rolling behind strong ‘pen, face Orioles again

Guardians, Orioles

With all the offense that the Cleveland Guardians and Baltimore Orioles can put on display, it’s best not to forget about pitching and defense.

Those could be equally important factors when the teams meet in the middle game of a three-game series Tuesday night in Baltimore.

The Guardians, whose bullpen ranks first in the majors in ERA (2.32), WHIP (0.99) and opponents’ batting average (.191), got three scoreless innings from relievers while holding off the Orioles for a 3-2 victory in the series opener.

The result was Cleveland’s sixth consecutive win.

“I’ve had calmer games this year,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “But we’ve talked about it all year, that’s the beauty of this bullpen. Every one of them can pitch in leverage. … No matter what we ask of this group, they’re coming in and getting it done.”

By winning Monday night, the Guardians beat the Orioles in reaching the 50-win mark, becoming the third team in the majors to get there this year. Baltimore could join Cleveland in that group on Tuesday.

“Really well-pitched game from both sides,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It doesn’t get much easier (Tuesday).”

The Orioles took their fourth loss in a row on Monday despite a defensive highlight in the fourth inning. Baltimore right fielder Anthony Santander threw out Daniel Schneemann, who had tagged up on a fly ball, at the plate.

“That was a guy who can run a little bit,” Hyde said. “Big play in a big spot, kind of felt like it gave us some momentum there. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”

Vogt was impressed as well.

“On a ball like that, everyone is going,” he said. “He made a perfect throw. (Catcher James) McCann with a great (decoy) and tag. That was just a fun baseball play. Obviously, I wish the result would have been different for us.”

Left-hander Logan Allen (8-3, 5.23 ERA) heads to the mound for the Guardians on Tuesday. It will be his third road assignment this month after he logged 11 innings while giving up three total runs in the first two. He won his latest two starts, beating the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners.

Allen faced the Orioles once last year as a rookie, and he threw seven shutout innings in what became his first road victory in the major leagues. He struck out 10 batters (and that remains his career high) while holding Baltimore to three hits and two walks in a 5-0 win on May 29, 2023.

Left-hander Cole Irvin (6-3, 3.45 ERA) will get the start for Baltimore. He will try to bounce back from one of his worst outings of the season, when he gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings on Thursday against the New York Yankees — though the Orioles won the game 17-5. He served up two home runs in a game for the first time this season.

In his career vs. Cleveland, Irvin is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three outings (two starts).

Baltimore left fielder Heston Kjerstad, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk for his first game in the big leagues in more than a month, had two of the Orioles’ five hits in the series opener.

“Definitely felt good,” Kjerstad said. “When I got my pitch, hit it pretty well. Keep showing up every day and trying to put up consistent at-bats.”

Guardians infielder Brayan Rocchio will likely be back in the lineup during series after having a night off on Monday.

“We’re in the middle of a long stretch,” Vogt said of the need to monitor players’ workload.

–Field Level Media

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