Indians 14, Orioles 0
-- Monday was supposed to be an off day for the Baltimore Orioles. The schedule makers intended it to be used for a long, leisurely flight to Los Angeles before the team began a series against the Dodgers on Tuesday.
Instead, the Orioles stopped in Cleveland to play an afternoon makeup game, and left for Los Angeles reeling from a 14-0 loss to the Indians.
With a pitching staff still feeling the effects of a marathon weekend series against San Francisco, Baltimore desperately needed left-hander Eric DuBose to deliver something approaching a quality start.
Desperation turned into disaster. DuBose failed to finish the third inning, despite Manager Lee Mazzilli leaving him in long enough for the Indians to score seven runs in the third, all with two outs.
Mazzilli, who partially blamed the delay on a faulty dugout-to-bullpen phone, finally turned to his tired bullpen. He sent in Rick Bauer, who got the last out of the third, but yielded six runs in the fifth.
The Orioles have lost six of their past nine games. Opponents have averaged 7.1 runs in the past 20 games. The Indians had 15 hits, including eight doubles, and drew nine walks. Every starter scored at least once as Cleveland scored its most runs in nearly three years.
Baltimore was quiet by comparison against right-hander Jake Westbrook (6-2, 2.70 ERA). He threw a four-hitter, struck out four and walked two.
"It seems like, all of a sudden, both sides fell apart at the same time," Mazzilli said of Baltimore's pitching and hitting.
Mazzilli reportedly tore into his team Sunday after a listless loss to San Francisco, but he said he left the players to their own thoughts in a quiet clubhouse Monday.
"What am I going to say?" he asked.
Mazzilli was searching for answers. He talked about a "meeting of the minds" and "two heads are better than one" when asked what is to be done with DuBose and the pitching staff.
Later, Mazzilli reverted to a tired baseball axiom. "They've got to keep playing hard and bust their tails," he said.
There were no better answers in the clubhouse.
"It's hard to pinpoint what it is you have to do other than to come back tomorrow, play hard and strap it on," Rafael Palmeiro said. "We obviously have to pitch better and have to hit better, we all know that."
Palmeiro lamented a team seemingly jinxed by rain. The Orioles lead the American League with seven rainouts and this was their fourth makeup game.
"With us, it has just been rain delay after rain delay after rainout," he said. "We really haven't had a chance to get in the rhythm of the season.
"The last few days have been hard. It all contributes to what is going on here. But, we still have to execute. . . . It's not easy to have a scheduled day off and fly to a city. It's not the same when you're the home team. But then we're better than that. Our team should be able to overcome those little things."
The Orioles were not able to overcome DuBose's worst start of the season. DuBose (4-5, 5.80 ERA) yielded a run on doubles by Victor Martinez and Lou Merloni in the second inning.
DuBose's troubles began in earnest in the third when he walked Martinez on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases with two outs. It was the third walk of the inning. Casey Blake hit a two-run single and Merloni followed with a two-run double.
The bullpen remained quiet while DuBose walked Jody Gerut. Backup catcher Tim Laker, batting .154, ripped a two-run double down the left field line. Finally, Mazzilli emerged from the dugout to tell the umpires he could not reach the bullpen by phone. He signaled to get the right-handed Bauer warmed up.
DuBose pitched to backup shortstop John McDonald, who started the game hitless in his previous 15 at-bats and finished it with a career-high four hits. He sliced a single between short and third, scoring Laker for an 8-0 lead.
DuBose had one more walk left -- to the dugout. Bauer came in and walked Ronnie Belliard, before ending the inning by getting Coco Crisp to fly out.
Bauer faced nine batters in the fifth inning, getting just one out, and yielded six runs on six hits, including three doubles. He also walked a batter and hit another before being relieved by Eddy Rodriguez.
Bauer blew a save in his previous appearance Saturday.
"Everything I throw up there gets hit," Bauer said. "I'll just keep battling."
Orioles Notes: Outfielder Jay Gibbons was activated off the disabled list and started at designated hitter. To make room, outfielder Tim Raines Jr. was optioned to Class AAA Ottawa. . . .
The Orioles said left-hander Matt Riley (1-1, 6.33 ERA) will be recalled Wednesday from Ottawa and will start against the Dodgers.