By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun
7:48 PM EDT, June 30, 2012
On a steamy, late June afternoon in which the greatest manager in club history was immortalized with a statue at Camden Yards, the Orioles blasted anEarl Weaver-special three-run homer and witnessed a brief managerial tirade.
Otherwise, there weren't a whole lot of similarities between Weaver's tremendous clubs of the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s and Saturday's version that lost 11-5 to the Cleveland Indians .
For the fifth straight game, an Orioles starter turned in a less-than-stellar performance, this time from lefty Dana Eveland, who was making his first start since May 11, adding to the Orioles' troubles on the mound.
Eveland was scheduled to throw about 80 pitches, but he made it to 77 in just 3 2/3 innings while battling a free-swinging Indians team and the 90-plus heat at Camden Yards.
Eveland (0-1) was knocked around for six hits, two walks and five earned runs, following an ugly pattern recently established by the Orioles' rotation . In their last five outings — one full turn — the starters have lasted just 22 innings, and have given up 41 hits and 29 earned runs. That's an 11.86 ERA in those games — four of them losses.
Overall, the Indians tied a season high with 19 hits, including a career-high five by Jose Lopez and a career-tying-high four by Shin-Soo Choo, who also added his eighth home run. Tommy Hunter was charged with five runs in just 1 2/3 innings of relief.
The Orioles (42-35) have now lost four of five and eight of their last 11 as they head into their last home game of the first half against the Indians (39-38).
Help may be on the way, however. The club announced in the seventh inning that it had traded for 41-year-old slugger Jim Thome, who had been with the Philadelphia Phillies. When the trade — which sent Single-A players Gabriel Lino, a catcher, and Kyle Simon, a pitcher, to the Phillies organization — was announced on the video screen in center fieldthe announced crowd of 35,335 roared.
The Orioles, who also have struggled recently to score runs, put five on the board against Indians' right-hander Josh Tomlin (4-5) in six innings. Three came on one swing — a three-run homer by Chris Davis in the fourth.
The 13th homer of the season for Davis was also his second this year that has landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field flag court. It was the 65th Eutaw Street homer in the stadium's history and record-tying eighth in one season. There are 40 home games remaining for the Orioles and their opponents to break that record, which was set in 2008.
Besides the Davis' blast, there was also one more Weaver-reminiscent moment in the fifth when Tomlin threw behind J.J. Hardyat the plate. The Orioles bench believed it was a retaliation pitch — Jason Kipnis was hit with an Eveland pitch in the third and Cleveland rookie third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall broke his wrist after being hit with a pitch by Troy Patton on Thursday — and Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out to protest and ask for a warning.
The fans cheered loudly as Showalter resembled the fiery Weaver as he ran onto the field and yelled.
But there were no rule books torn up or dirt kicked.
And there was no championship-caliber play by these Orioles on Saturday evening, either.
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