BALTIMORE — The Orioles aren’t going to make a big deal of winning one game in late May against a non-division opponent, but the club’s 4-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon had the feel of one they just couldn’t afford to lose.
A defeat would have taken the Orioles (25-23) back to .500 and marked their 10th loss in 14 games. It also would have sent them on a 10-game road trip having lost three of four games at home to the Indians (24-27).
Perhaps it was more of a relief to the announced 37,649 who showed up at Camden Yards on a perfect, 77-degree day to see the Orioles finally win on a Sunday.
The team had lost six Sunday games in a row following a victory on its first Sunday of the season, April 6 on the road against the Detroit Tigers. It was the Orioles’ first Sunday win at home in four tries and just their sixth victory in 18 day games this year.
“That’s kind of weird. I feel like we were playing good on day games,” said Nelson Cruz, whose major league-leading 16th home run gave the Orioles a two-run lead in the fifth. “I guess we have to focus a little more on Sundays.”
One of this Sunday’s highlights was the return of third baseman Manny Machado, who left Thursday’s game with a right groin strain and hadn’t played since.
Machado started Sunday, and in his third at-bat, he just cleared the wall in right field for a solo homer that broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth. More than anything, Machado said he was excited that he was back in the lineup and experiencing no pain.
“It was a relief I was just able to run the bases . . . and take some swings,” he said. “That was the biggest relief, obviously. That was the icing on the cake with the home run.”
— Baltimore Sun