CLEVELAND -- Rookie Hyun Soo Kim has been an exciting offensive player since joining the Orioles, but it took until Sunday's 6-4 victory over the Indians for the Korean outfielder to finally clear the fence in the big leagues.Kim's two-out home run off Cleveland reliever Jeff Manship in the seventh
CLEVELAND -- Rookie Hyun Soo Kim has been an exciting offensive player since joining the Orioles, but it took until Sunday's 6-4 victory over the Indians for the Korean outfielder to finally clear the fence in the big leagues.
Kim's two-out home run off Cleveland reliever Jeff Manship in the seventh inning put Baltimore ahead for good, and helped the Orioles win the series at Progressive Field. That shot also helped Baltimore overcome a steady comeback by the Tribe, which used home runs from Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli and Jason Kipnis to erase an early deficit.
"I was really excited to have my first home run make a contribution to a team win," Kim said through a translator. "That was the main thing that made me happy. I would have still been happy if the home run came in a situation that doesn't decide the win or loss. But because it helped the team to win, it really made me happy."
Orioles starter Chris Tillman improved to 7-1 on the season after giving up four runs on four hits in six innings against the Indians. After allowing only three homers on the year heading into Sunday, the righty gave up three blasts to Cleveland. Tillman ended with three strikeouts and three walks issued in the win.
"I would have like to go deeper," Tillman said. "That's a good hitting ballclub. They made some adjustments and put some pretty good swings on some pitches."
After Baltimore reliever Darren O'Day escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, Nolan Reimold padded the Orioles' lead with a solo homer in the ninth.
Indians rookie Mike Clevinger picked up a no-decision after an abbreviated four-inning showing against the O's. Clevinger coughed up three runs in the first inning -- all on a double by Mark Trumbo -- and was pulled after 89 pitches and four runs allowed. Dan Otero gave the Tribe two shutout innings in relief of Clevinger, helping buy time for the offense to mount a comeback before Kim's blast.
Clevinger has gone 0-1 with an 8.79 ERA in his first three starts in the big leagues.
"I don't think these three starts are going to define who he is in his Major League career," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I think he's going to do some really good things. Like a lot of inexperienced pitchers, players, you're kind of learning on the run right now. I think when you make a mistake here, you pay for it more than when you do in the Minor Leagues."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Out of the gate: Similar to the series opener, Baltimore jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. Three of the first four batters reached before Trumbo brought the trio of runners home on one swing of the bat. Per Statcast™, Trumbo smacked Clevinger's pitch 116 mph off the left-field wall for a three-run double.
Knuckle up: After Santana's shot to right put the Indians on the board in the fourth, Napoli later followed suit with a two-run blast to the left-field bleachers to trim Baltimore's lead to 4-3. The first baseman's homer (his 10th of the year) came on a low 77-mph knuckle-curve from Tillman, who had not yielded a home run on that particular pitch since Aug. 11 of last season.
Kip knots things up: Kipnis headed into Sunday with a .205 (9-for-44) average in his previous 10 games, and he opened up this one with a pair of outs. In the sixth inning, though, Cleveland's second baseman found his stroke, drilling a 1-1 fastball from Tillman deep into the right-field seats for a leadoff home run that pulled the game into a 4-4 tie.
O'Day kills rally: With the bases loaded and one out, it looked like Cleveland was going to rally in the eighth, but O'Day had different plans. It took nine pitches against Lonnie Chisenhall -- who was pinch-hitting for Juan Uribe -- but O'Day was able to freeze him with a slider on the outside for a called strikeout. O'Day then whiffed Yan Gomes with a fastball to get out of the inning unscathed.
"Chisenhall's had some luck against him," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "I like Darren against anyone, but it was cat and mouse. That was a gutsy pitch to throw the back door breaking ball. It's not easy to get hitters out, especially as good of an offense as they are. I'm glad we are not playing them again for a while."
"Those are hard games to win. That kid [Orioles closer Zach Britton] really throws the ball well, too. But somebody will whack one, and we'll have a walk-off if we keep doing stuff like that. I mean, I hope we don't have to do that, but it'll happen." -- Francona, on Cleveland's rally attempt in the ninth inning
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With no outs and runners on first and second in the ninth inning, Santana grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but the Indians challenged the out call at first base. After a swift instant-replay review lasting one minute and 19 seconds, the ruling was overturned. Santana was deemed safe, prolonging Cleveland's last-ditch rally attempt.
Orioles: Right-hander Tyler Wilson (2-3, 3.80 ERA) will take the ball for the Orioles at 1:35 p.m. ET in the series opener with the Red Sox on Monday at Camden Yards. Wilson has gone at least six innings in all four starts this month but is just 1-3 with a 4.32 ERA in May. He has given up nine runs on 12 hits in his last two starts for Baltimore.
Indians: Right-hander Josh Tomlin (7-0, 3.35 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Indians in a 6:10 p.m. ET clash with the Rangers on Monday at Progressive Field. After outdueling White Sox ace Chris Sale in his last outing, Tomlin became the first Cleveland pitcher to begin a season 7-0 since 1995 (Dennis Martinez).
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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.