A breakdown of the Orioles three-game sweep of the Indians.
Game 1: 4-3 win on Friday night (June 26)
Game 2: 4-0 win on Sunday afternoon (June 28)
Game 3: 8-0 win on Sunday night (June 28)
What I liked:
1. 2014 Part II? – The O’s were 26-27 last season before going 70-39 the rest of the year. The O’s now are 18-5 since their 23-29 start this season.
2. The starting pitching – Off a stretch in which Orioles starting pitchers had not lasted longer than 5 2/3 innings in five of six games, the rotation delivered big time in this series.
Wei-Yin Chen allowed two runs in six innings in Game 1 in his first start since the controversy over him being briefly optioned to Single-A Frederick.
Ubaldo Jimenez continued his bounce-back season with eight scoreless innings in Game 2, recording seven strikeouts versus four hits and no walks. Most interesting about Ubaldo lately has been his strikeout rate: 42 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings in June off averaging fewer than a strikeout per inning in April and May.
Chris Tillman, who’s in the midst of a horrific season, had his best outing of the year so far in Game 3: seven scoreless innings on six strikeouts versus four hits and no walks.
3. The offense – Fifteen of the Orioles’ 24 hits in the series were extra-base hits, as the O’s totaled six homers and nine doubles while enjoying continued success with runners in scoring position (7-for-22).
Jimmy Paredes went 5-for-9 with three walks, belting two doubles in Game 2 and a two-run homer and a double in Game 3.
Manny Machado went 4-for-12 with a walk, providing a solo homer and a double in Game 2 and a two-run double in Game 3.
Chris Parmelee went 3-for-11, blasting a double in Game 1 and a two-run homer in Game 3. By the way, how about Parmelee starting at first base and Chris Davis in right field in all three games in this series? Hard not to read that as Buck Showalter giving Parmelee an extended look at first base with Davis scheduled to be a free agent. It worth noting that Buck has said that Davis is just as good defensively in right field as he is at first base.
Ryan Flaherty went 4-for-10 with a walk.
4. The bullpen – Orioles relievers combined to allow one run in eight innings for a ninth consecutive quality series for the bullpen.
5. The return of Adam Jones – Jones started Game 2 (as opposed to going on the 15-day disabled list) off having missed eight of the previous 10 games due to a sore right shoulder. He did then sit out Game 3.
What I didn’t like:
1. Nothing – This was the Orioles’ best series of the season so far, and they’re now two percentage points ahead of Tampa Bay for first in the American League East.