Adam Plutko allowed one hit over six innings in his season debut and Jordan Luplow launched a two-run homer as the host Cleveland Indians beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 on Saturday.
Carlos Santana homered to lead off the eighth inning and Francisco Lindor had an RBI single for the Indians, who improved to 13-4 against Baltimore in their past 17 meetings since the beginning of the 2017 season.
Trey Mancini recorded Baltimore’s lone hit with a solo homer with two outs in the fourth inning. He deposited a 1-0 changeup from Plutko (1-0) over the left-field wall for his team-leading 10th homer of the season.
Plutko, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus prior to the game, did not allow another hit. The 27-year-old struck out four and walked two before exiting after 83 pitches.
Two relievers bridged the gap to Brad Hand, who struck out Jonathan Villar on three pitches to end the eighth inning. Hand retired the side in order in the ninth to notch his 12th save of the season.
Cleveland ignited its offense in the fourth inning, as Santana ripped a one-out double to center field and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Luplow brought him home.
Luplow sent a 2-1 curveball from rookie John Means (5-4) over the wall in left field for his fifth homer of the season, all of which have come off left-handed pitchers. Luplow’s homer, which gave the Indians a 2-1 advantage, was his third in his last four games and third while batting in the cleanup position.
Cleveland’s celebrated prospect Oscar Mercado ripped a one-out double in the fifth inning for his first major league hit. Mercado didn’t wait there for long, as Lindor brought him home on a single to left field.
Santana provided insurance in the eighth inning by launching a homer to center field to give Cleveland a 4-1 lead.
—Field Level Media