Orioles fall to Indians 11-5, but Thome is coming
By DAVID GINSBURG
BALTIMORE (AP) In the wake of another deflating loss, the Baltimore Orioles found consolation in knowing Jim Thome is on his way to help out the team's struggling offense.
Unfortunately, the 41-year-old slugger can't pitch.
The Orioles surrendered 19 hits and fell to the Cleveland Indians 11-5 Saturday, their eighth defeat in 11 games. Shin-Soo Choo singled on the first pitch of the game, and the Indians never let up in setting a season high for hits in a second straight game.
"Nothing went right," Eveland said.
But the day was not a total loss. The news the Orioles acquired the 41-year-old Thome from Philadelphia for two minor leaguers was encouraging news for a team that went 10 straight games without scoring more than three runs until Friday night.
"If you have an opportunity to add him to the mix, you always want to try to do it," manager Buck Showalter said.
"I think he gives us a little bit more depth to our lineup with the injuries we've had, the left-handed hitters in our lineup," said Dan Duquette, the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations. "I think his presence in the lineup will make the opposing pitchers work harder. Because he gets on base and hits home runs and can hit the ball out of any part of this ballpark, we think he'll be an asset to the team."
Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, who learned of the Thome trade during the seventh inning. Thome, who has 609 career homers, went 6 for 13 with four RBIs in a three-game series against Baltimore earlier this season.
"I've heard nothing but great things about his character and personality," Davis said. "He's a class act. So we're going to welcome him with open arms, and hopefully he can swing it for us like he can against us."
Thome would have needed to hit a bushel of homers to make a difference Saturday.
Choo went 4 for 5 with a homer, scored four runs and collected three RBIs. Shelley Duncan also homered for the Indians, whose 19 hits eclipsed the 16 they got Friday night in a 9-8 loss at Camden Yards.
Jose Lopez had five hits and drove in three runs for the Indians, Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits and two RBIs, and Lou Marson had four hits, scored three runs and finished a homer short of the cycle.
The offensive outburst was a welcome change of pace, and the Indians hope to ride the wave of momentum back into first place in the AL Central.
"We don't do it for a while," Lopez said. "Especially Choo and a couple of guys who got three, two hits. Maybe we start today and (continue) tomorrow and a week before the All-Star break."
The Indians stranded 16 runners and went 7 for 22 with runners in scoring position - and it hardly mattered.
"Quite frankly ... we're fortunate they didn't score more than 11 runs," Showalter said.
In the first three games of this four-game series, Choo is 8 for 13 with two home runs, six RBIs and seven runs scored. He reached base five times in this one, including a walk.
Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin (4-5) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings.
The Indians took an 8-4 lead with a three-run fifth. Marson tripled and scored on a two-out single by Choo, who came home on a double by Cabrera. Lopez capped the uprising with an RBI single.
Duncan led off the sixth with his fifth home run, and Choo hit an RBI single for a six-run cushion.
Much earlier, Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in an eventful first inning that featured an excellent running catch by Orioles left fielder Xavier Avery and an RBI single by Lopez that bounced off third base. Eveland avoided further damage by working out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam.
Choo homered in the second to make it 2-0. After Baltimore got a third-inning run on a sacrifice fly by Brian Roberts, both teams scored three runs in the fourth.
In the bottom half, Davis homered with two on to bring Baltimore to 5-4.
NOTES: Before the game, the Orioles unveiled a 7-foot statue of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver in the picnic area beyond the center-field wall. ... Cleveland placed 3B Lonnie Chisenhall on the 15-day DL and recalled utility player Jason Donald from Triple-A Columbus. ... Indians manager Manny Acta said DH Travis Hafner (right knee inflammation) will be evaluated for a potential return from the 15-day DL after his play this weekend with Columbus, where he is on a minor league rehab assignment.
Updated June 30, 2012