O’s hope to ride hot bat of Cedric Mullins past Indians
Baltimore outfielder Cedric Mullins will look to continue his torrid hitting when the Orioles host the Cleveland Indians on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series.
The teams have split the first two games after the Indians ended the Orioles’ three-game winning streak with a 10-4 win on Saturday.
In the loss Mullins went 5-for-5, his second five-hit game of the season, and clubbed two solo home runs.
“Incredible game by him today,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Just did everything.”
Mullins has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games (18-for-46, .391), raising his season average to .314. He leads the Orioles in hits (70) and in extra-base hits (25) and brings a six-game hitting streak into Sunday’s game.
Baltimore right-hander Jorge Lopez (1-6, 5.29) opposes right-hander Cal Quantrill (0-1, 2.08) in the rubber game of the series.
Lopez, in his second season with Baltimore, gave up one run on five hits in six innings of a no-decision against the Minnesota Twins in his last start. He struck out seven and walked two.
“That was nice to see him get through the sixth,” Hyde said. “Really, really pleased with how far he’s come and how much he’s improved and getting better over the course of the season.”
Lopez is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 10 games — one start — against the Indians during his six major league seasons.
Quantrill will look to stretch himself out in his second start of the season after 17 relief appearances. On May 31 against the White Sox, he gave up a run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings while throwing 60 pitches.
“I thought he was pretty good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We kind of had a soft number in 55, and he actually exceeded that a little bit. But I thought he held his stuff really well. The idea is trying to get him a little bit stretched out, but you don’t want to do it too much, too quick.”
Quantrill has faced the Orioles just once in his career, giving up one run in 2/3 of an inning in relief.
Harold Ramirez had three hits, including one of Cleveland’s three home runs, on Saturday. Yu Chang had a three-run homer and Cesar Hernandez also went deep.
Ramirez, claimed off waivers from the Marlins at the end of February, his has hit .320 (16-for-50) in his past 14 games with a homer and eight RBIs.
“(Ramirez) stays flat through the zone so well,” Francona said. “It seems like he’s barreling up a lot of balls. He stays through the middle of the field so well and he gets the barrel to it. He gives himself a chance.”
Orioles starter John Means (4-2) departed in the first inning with left shoulder fatigue after giving up a pair of solo homers, forcing Hyde to get eight-plus innings from his bullpen.
Ryan Mountcastle homered for the Orioles. He has homers in three straight games and four of five. He’s hit in five straight games while driving in eight runs.
The Indians recalled first baseman Bobby Bradley from Triple-A Columbus and selected pitcher Blake Parker’s contract from Columbus on Saturday. The team optioned pitcher Eli Morgan to Columbus and designated first baseman Jake Bauers for assignment.
–Field Level Media