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(Friday, July 20th)
Final Score: Baltimore 10, Cleveland 2
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Jim Thome went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and a pair of runs scored on Friday as the Baltimore Orioles rolled to a 10-2 thumping of the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a four-game series at Progressive Field.
Thome's home run -- a towering blast to right field -- was his first in an Orioles uniform and the 610th of his illustrious career, which pushed him past Sammy Sosa and into seventh place on the all-time list.
"(Derek) Lowe can be a guy you have to do that on," Thome said of scoring early. "Once he gets settled in, he can be very good. We were fortunate that we got some pitches to hit and capitalized on it."
Ryan Flaherty crushed a three-run shot and Mark Reynolds added a two-run double in the O's third consecutive win. Chris Davis had two hits in the victory.
Miguel Gonzalez (2-1) was solid in just his third major league start. The 28- year old righty allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts to collect the win.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Jack Hannahan homered for the Indians, who have dropped five of their last seven contests. Johnny Damon went 3-for-4 and Shin-Soo Choo added two hits in the loss.
Lowe (8-8) was knocked around for nine runs on seven hits and five walks over just three-plus innings.
"Derek wasn't able to command his sinker in the strike zone," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He couldn't even throw 50 percent of his pitches for strikes, so he was behind in the count. When you see a sinker-baller with that many fly balls, he's in trouble."
The Orioles were gifted the first run of the game in their first at-bat. J.J Hardy roped a one-out double, moved to third on a groundout by Thome and scored when Lowe uncorked a wild pitch that skipped past Carlos Santana to the backstop.
Cleveland evened the game at one in the home half when Cabrera laced a fastball into the seats in right-center for his team-leading 12th long ball of the season.
Baltimore broke the game open with six runs in the third inning. Thome started the frame with a double and scored two batters later on a fielder's choice by Matt Wieters. Wilson Betemit smoked a two-base hit and Davis was intentionally walked to load the bases. Reynolds then laced a double off the wall in center to bring in a pair of runs and Flaherty cleared the bases with a mammoth home run to right field, ballooning the O's lead to 7-1.
Thome led off the fourth with his long home run to right which spelled the end of the night for Lowe, and they added another run in the inning on a fielder's choice by Davis, which allowed Jones to score, extending the lead to a comfortable 9-1 margin.
Betemit knocked in Baltimore's final run of the game with a groundout in the sixth before Hannahan clubbed a two-out shot off Gonzalez in the seventh.
Cleveland loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth when Santana was hit by a pitch, Travis Hafner beat out an infield single and Damon hit a line drive off the leg of Matt Lindstrom. Kevin Gregg came in from the bullpen and got Casey Kotchman to fly out, ending the inning.
Gregg came out for the ninth and retired the side in order.
Lowe fell to 8-6 in 18 career starts against Baltimore...The Indians have been outscored 69-45 in the first inning this season...Prior to the game, the O's acquired infielder Omar Quintanilla from the New York Mets in exchange for cash considerations...Nine of Baltimore's 11 hits went for extra bases...The Orioles finished 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base...Cleveland went 1-for-7 with RISP and stranded nine.
07/21 00:19:36 ET