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Guardians outlast Orioles 10-8 for seventh straight win and fifth straight loss for Baltimore

BALTIMORE — José Ramírez hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, and the Cleveland Guardians powered their way to a seventh straight victory, beating the slumping Baltimore Orioles 10-8 on Tuesday night.

Gunnar Henderson, James McCann, Colton Cowser and Anthony Santander all hit home runs for Baltimore, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a fifth straight loss for the defending AL East champions. Pitching injuries have plagued the Orioles, who haven’t suffered a skid this long since dropping six straight from May 13-18, 2022, days before catcher Adley Rutschman made his big league debut.

Ramírez has gone deep in each of the first two games of this series, and with 237 home runs, he now sits alone in third place on the franchise’s career list. His drive to center set up a five-run fourth, putting the Guardians ahead 8-4 on a night when neither starting pitcher got past the fourth.

Pedro Avila (2-1) delivered two hitless innings in relief for the win. The AL Central-leading Guardians used five pitchers in relief of Logan Allen, who was removed without an out in the fourth.

Emmanuel Clase scored the ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances.

Cole Irvin (6-4) yielded eight runs and 10 hits in four innings, although four of those runs were unearned.

Several big picks turned out badly for Baltimore in the top of the fourth inning. With a man on first base and one out, Gabriel Arias hit a dribbler in front of the plate. McCann, the catcher, tried to make a hard throw to eliminate the lead runner at second base, but second baseman Jorge Mateo couldn’t make the catch, and the error on McCann left men on second and third base stood.

Baltimore Orioles’ Jorge Mateo, right, slides into third base in front of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Jordan Westburg, left, after hitting a triple during the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Stephanie Scarbrough

The Orioles then brought in the infield, allowing Brayan Rocchio’s grounder to slip through the left side for an RBI single. Steven Kwan followed with a runscoring single of his own to give Cleveland a 5-4 lead, and when Anthony Santander’s throw from right field went all the way to third base in a failed attempt to get Rocchio, Kwan advanced to second place.

A groundout to third base failed to advance either runner, but then the Orioles decided to throw to Ramírez with first base open, and he connected on a 1-0 pitch for his 21st home run of the season.

Cleveland’s David Fry opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning, but Henderson answered with his 25th home run, a two-run shot.

Arias’ two-run double in the second put the Guardians ahead again. Then McCann tied the score with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning.

Baltimore Orioles’ Gunnar Henderson, right, dives into home for Cleveland Guardians catcher Bo Naylor (23) to score on an RBI hit by Baltimore Orioles’ Jordan Westburg during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 25, 2024 , Baltimore. Credit: AP/Stephanie Scarbrough

Jordan Westburg drove in a run with a double in the third inning, giving the Orioles a 4-3 lead. However, that lead was short-lived.

After Cleveland’s big fourth, McCann and Cowser hit consecutive home runs to open the bottom half of the inning, making it 8-6. But McCann’s lack of speed cost the Orioles twice.

He was thrown out at home when he tried to score from first on Ryan Mountcastle’s two-out double in the second. In the seventh, McCann came up with the bases loaded and one out and hit a rare 5-4-3 groundout. Ramírez moved to right to field the grounder to third base, and Cleveland hit the ball around the infield in an attempt to turn a double play.

McCann was out at first base, but second baseman Andrés Giménez came off the bag before catching the ball and passing it to second base, clearing the runner and scoring a run to make it 8-7.

Cleveland responded immediately in the eighth. Bo Naylor hit an RBI triple, and when Arias hit a one-out grounder to second, reliever Yennier Cano made a desperate stab at the ball from the mound, accidentally knocking it out of Westburg’s reach when it looked like second baseman was in good condition. position to complete it. That RBI single made it 10-7.

Santander’s solo shot in the eighth was his 12th homer of June, tying a franchise record.