The Cleveland Indians have been unbeatable the last two weeks and can extend their franchise record to 17 straight victories when they host the suddenly-fading Baltimore Orioles on Saturday afternoon. The Indians pushed their streak to 16 games - the longest in the majors since Oakland won 20 in a row in 2002 - with a 5-0 triumph over the Orioles on Friday night and have allowed a total of 28 runs during the magical run with five shutouts.
Edwin Encarnacion has led the Indians’ offense of late, homering and driving in three runs for the second straight game Friday while extending his hitting streak to nine games (14-for-34, four home runs, 12 RBIs). Veteran Josh Tomlin will try to keep the winning streak going when he takes the mound Saturday against fellow right-hander Gabriel Ynoa, who makes his first start for Baltimore. The Orioles have dropped four of their last six contests and trail Minnesota, by three games for the American League’s second wild-card after managing one total run in the last two outings. Trey Mancini notched half of his team’s four hits - all singles - in Friday’s loss for Baltimore and has multiple hits in three of his last six contests.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Gabriel Ynoa (1-0, 3.68 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (8-9, 5.20)
Ynoa makes his first major-league start this season and the fourth of his career after pitching two hitless innings against the New York Yankees on Monday. The 24-year-old Dominican pitched in relief against Cleveland twice in 2017, permitting one run on six hits over 5 1/3 innings combined. Ynoa, who is 6-9 with Triple-A Norfolk this season, made three starts for the New York Mets last year while producing a 3.18 ERA over 11 1/3 innings.
Tomlin was solid in a win during his first start in almost a month after coming off the disabled list, yielding one run on six hits and one walk over 5 2/3 innings at Detroit. The 32-year-old Texan has given up three or fewer runs in five straight starts, going 4-0 in that stretch with 24 strikeouts versus a pair of walks. Adam Jones (11-for-21, one homer) and Manny Machado (4-for-6, two homers) have caused trouble for Tomlin.
1. Baltimore 1B/DH Chris Davis needs one home run to tie Rafael Palmeiro (223) for sixth on the club’s all-time list.
2. Cleveland 1B/DH Carlos Santana is 9-for-18 with a pair of homers over the last five games to raise his average to .262.
3. The Orioles activated SS J.J. Hardy (wrist) from the disabled list and designated LHP Andrew Faulkner for assignment.
PREDICTION: Indians 7, Orioles 4