The Cleveland Indians will take their franchise-record 15-game winning streak back home when they begin a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. The Indians had no problem extending their remarkable run - eclipsing their 14-game streak from a year ago - as they coasted past the Chicago White Sox by an 11-2 margin on Thursday.
The victory capped an 11-0 road trip, baseball’s longest undefeated trek since 1957, and gave Cleveland the longest winning streak in the majors since a 20-gamer by Oakland in 2002. Edwin Encarnacion slugged his 33rd homer and Francisco Lindor went deep for the 27th time as the Indians maintained an 11-game lead in the American League Central. The Orioles have exchanged wins and losses over their last eight games, with Thursday’s 9-1 setback against the New York Yankees leaving them with a two-game deficit in the race for the second AL wild-card spot. They give the ball to the veteran Wade Miley on Friday opposite Mike Clevinger, who has spun six scoreless innings in consecutive starts for the Indians.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Wade Miley (8-11, 4.91 ERA) vs. Indians RH Mike Clevinger (8-5, 3.50)
Miley has allowed three runs or fewer in seven straight starts after giving up two runs over six frames in a tough loss to Toronto on Saturday. The 30-year-old has yielded 32 hits in 38 2/3 innings during the improved seven-start stretch. Encarnacion is 6-for-13 with two homers and two doubles against Miley, who gave up four runs in five frames of a loss to Cleveland on June 22.
Clevinger is 8-4 with a 3.18 ERA as a starter this year while registering 107 strikeouts in 96 1/3 innings. His second consecutive scoreless outing was at Detroit last Friday, when the 26-year-old yielded three hits and struck out six. He got the win opposite Miley earlier in the year but has surrendered six runs and 10 hits with seven walks in nine career innings against the Orioles.
1. Indians 3B Jose Ramirez (wrist) was out of the lineup Thursday and 3B Yandy Diaz left the contest after being hit with a pitch on his left elbow.
2. Encarnacion is batting .433 with three homers and nine RBIs during his eight-game hitting streak.
3. Baltimore is expected to activate SS J.J. Hardy (wrist) from the 10-day disabled list.
PREDICTION: Indians 7, Orioles 4