Over the Orioles’ four previous games, their bats couldn’t be blamed for their lack of wins.
The club’s offense did its job again Friday night against the Cleveland Indians, and the Orioles made the lead stick this time.
First baseman Chris Davis drove in four runs, including his seventh homer of the season, a two-run blast in the fifth inning that gave the Orioles the lead in an eventual 8-4 win before an announced 39,602 on Fireworks Night at Camden Yards.
The Orioles (24-22) have scored 38 runs over their past five games. They’ve plated six or more runs and posted 12 or more hits in each of those five contests, but have won just two.
In his past four games, Davis, who struggled to find his power and went on the disabled list for an oblique injury earlier this season, has been in a groove. He’s 8 for 16 with four home runs and 10 RBI over the four-game span.
With Adam Jones on first after a leadoff single in the fifth, Davis turned on a first-pitch delivery from Cleveland left-hander T.J. House and sent it into the right center field stands to give the Orioles a 5-4 lead.
In the third inning, Davis hit a two-run double down the right field line to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.
Orioles left fielder Nelson Cruz hit his 15th homer of the season, a solo shot to right center field off House that tied Cruz with White Sox rookie Jose Abreu for the major league home run lead.
Cruz’s homer, which came on the first pitch of the second inning, also gave him 43 RBI, surpassing Abreu for the American League lead.
Davis and Cruz weren’t alone. Leadoff hitter Nick Markakis tallied his first four-hit game of the season and Adam Jones had three hits and three runs.
Despite being unable to protect an early lead, Orioles right-hander Bud Norris posted his third straight start of six or more innings and earned his first win since the first game of the club’s May 1 doubleheader.
Norris (3-4) allowed four runs on six hits, striking out six and walking three.
The Indians (23-26) scored all four runs off Norris in the top of the fourth inning, three of them coming on Jason Giambi’s opposite-field, three-run homer.
After Michael Brantley opened the fourth with a single, Lonnie Chisenhall hit an RBI double into the right center field gap to score Brantley.
Two batters later, Norris issued a one-out walk to Carlos Santana, bringing the 43-year-old Giambi to the plate with two on.
Giambi, who was 1 for 15 this season entering the at-bat, took an 0-1 fastball over the outer half of the plate the other way and deposited it into the first row of the left field stands to give Cleveland a 4-3 lead.
After taking a 5-4 lead on Davis’s homer, the Orioles plated three unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Jones hit a one-out double, and the Indians intentionally walked Davis to face Cruz. But reliever Mark Lowe fielded Cruz’s groundball back to the mound and threw it into the outfield, an error that scored Jones.
Davis scored on J.J. Hardy’s groundout to third, and Cruz plated the Orioles’ final run on Delmon Young’s double to left.
That gave the Orioles’ bullpen, which accounted for 131 / 3 innings over the previous two nights, enough cushion.
Left-hander T.J. McFarland, recalled from Class AAA Norfolk before the game, tossed a scoreless seventh. Left-hander Brian Matusz, working his third straight day, pitched a scoreless eighth before allowing a leadoff double to Santana in the ninth.
Right-hander Darren O’Day finished off the ninth, retiring all three batters he faced, striking out Justin Sellers to end the game and strand Santana at third.
— Baltimore Sun