The Cleveland Indians ended their five-game losing streak on Thursday with a 7-2 victory against the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a four-game series. The Indians (38-37) will try to take two in a row for the first time since they put together a four-game winning streak that ended last Saturday. Meanwhile, the Orioles (41-34) will look to end their three-game skid that has put them five games behind the New York Yankees for the lead in the American League East.
Cleveland also trails the Chicago White Sox by 2.5 games in the AL Central but kept pace with Chicago’s 4-3 win over the Yankees by hitting three home runs against Baltimore’s pitching in a game where every run was scored via the long ball. The Indians hit three homers to one for the Orioles with Johnny Damon, Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera all knocking the ball out of the park for the victors.
Baltimore had won the previous two meetings with Cleveland but has now lost seven of the past nine and will send Jake Arrieta (3-9, 5.55 ERA) to the hill in hopes of getting back on track. He is 1-0 in his last two home starts but 2-5 at Camden Yards overall with a 6.23 ERA. In those two recent outings at home, he allowed just one run in each of them as the Orioles beat the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals in interleague play.
Arrieta walked away with a no-decision in a strong start against Washington last Sunday, scattering five hits in six innings with one walk and five strikeouts. In a 7-1 win over Pittsburgh on June 13, he tied a season high with nine strikeouts. Even though he has struggled overall this season, he has walked only one batter in each of his past three starts and allowed just one homer during that stretch while going 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA with the total going UNDER in all of them. He is 1-0 in two career starts against the Indians with a 8.18 ERA.
Cleveland starting pitcher Derek Lowe (7-6, 4.28) has not earned a victory since June 1, with three of his past four starts taking place away from home. He is coming off a road loss to the Houston Astros last Sunday in which he gave up three runs and eight hits in 6.2 innings with one walk and one strikeout.
Lowe is 3-5 in eight road starts overall with a 5.87 ERA, and he is 8-8 lifetime vs. Baltimore with a 4.38 ERA. He has especially struggled in his last three starts overall, posting an 0-2 record and 6.62 ERA. The UNDER has cashed in both his road starts over that period.
Free Baseball Pick: UNDER 9.5