Jonathan Villar and Cedric Mullins each homered, and Alex Cobb went the distance as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the host Cleveland Indians 4-2 on Saturday at Progressive Field.
Villar’s three-run shot and the solo homer from Mullins — his first in the major leagues — gave Baltimore all of its offense and proved enough for Cobb, who turned in likely his best effort this season as the Orioles ended Cleveland’s six-game winning streak.
Cobb (4-15) has pitched much more effectively since the All-Star break, especially in August, and that trend continued in this game. Cobb kept the Indians off-balance with his mix of fastballs, breaking pitches and especially a sharp changeup/splitter, which has been more effective since the break.
Overall, Cobb gave up two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. He needed just 100 pitches (69 strikes) for the complete game, his first since 2013 when pitching with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The outing was Cobb’s fifth consecutive quality start. He’s now 2-1 in August.
Cleveland starter Adam Plutko (4-3) kept the Indians close. He gave up three runs on just three hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked one, but the Villar home run proved to be too much.
The Orioles gave Cobb the lead thanks to that Villar blast in the third. The rally began when Austin Wynns walked with one out before Mullins followed with a bunt single.
Villar came up next and belted his three-run shot to right on a 3-2 pitch. That gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead.
But the Indians began rallying in the sixth. They scored twice, first on a Francisco Lindor RBI single and then on a Michael Brantley sacrifice fly.
Cleveland threatened again in the seventh, putting runners at first and third with one out. However, Cobb got Melky Cabrera to ground into an inning-ending double play, which saved the 3-2 lead.
Mullins then gave the Orioles a key insurance run with his home run in the eighth. It came on a 1-0 pitch from Neil Ramirez that the rookie sent into the seats in right-center and made it 4-2.
—Field Level Media