Indians aiming to extend Orioles’ road woes

MLB

The Baltimore Orioles are sneaking up on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

And not in a good way.

The Orioles suffered their 15th consecutive road loss Sunday, a 7-1 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Their team record, the worst road skid since the club moved from St. Louis to Baltimore in 1954, is only four games shy of the Diamondbacks’ current streak of 19 road losses.

The Orioles will try to stop their run when they open a four-game series Monday night in Cleveland.

“We have to keep playing, keep our heads up,” Baltimore shortstop Freddy Galvis said. “That’s it, man.”

It won’t be easy, as the Orioles have been swept seven times this season and have an American League-worst record of 22-42. They were held hitless after the second inning Sunday and gave up a grand slam to Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena.

Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins got a day off Sunday. First baseman Trey Mancini was hit near the right elbow with a pitch in the first inning but remained in the game.

The Orioles haven’t announced a starter for Monday’s game, and manager Brandon Hyde said a pitcher will probably be called up from Triple-A Norfolk. Right-hander Dean Kremer (0-5, 6.87 ERA) is a candidate, having not pitched since Tuesday. Kremer has never faced the Indians.

The Indians are scheduled to start rookie right-hander J.C. Mejia (1-1, 4.15), who pitched three scoreless innings in his first career start June 4 at Baltimore in a game the Indians lost 3-1.

Mejia didn’t fare as well in his last start, Wednesday at St. Louis, lasting just two-thirds of an inning while allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in an 8-2 defeat.

“I think my stuff was playing well,” Mejia said through an interpreter after the game. “Everything was sharp around the zone. But it’s one of those days that you have to take it in and take it as a lesson, and just keep going forward.”

There were several times Mejia, who hadn’t allowed an earned run in four previous appearances, was one pitch away from getting out of the inning but couldn’t do it.

“He looked like he had good stuff,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He was attacking, he was following (catcher Austin Hedges), and then he just couldn’t put anybody away.”

Added Mejia: “I think right now the main lesson from this will be to finish each batter and focus on finishing them entirely. Using all of my pitches, being able to combine them, but, most importantly, being able to finish all the batters.”

Despite having the AL’s reigning Cy Young Award winner on the mound in right-hander Shane Bieber, the Indians suffered a 6-2 loss Sunday against visiting Seattle that prevented them from completing a three-game sweep.

Cleveland outfielder Jordan Luplow, who has been on the injured list since May 28, is still bothered by a sprained left ankle and ended his rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus. President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said Luplow will be rechecked by doctors and could get another opinion.

–Field Level Media

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