CLEVELAND -- The Mistake By The Lake once referred to Municipal Stadium, the former home of the Cleveland Indians. But now that the Tribe has moved into Jacobs Field, the phrase can be applied in other handy ways.
Such as the Orioles' decision to play three games against the Indians this week. The Mistake By The Lake. Cleveland completed it first three-game home sweep of the Orioles since 1965 last night with a 5-2 victory.
Chad Ogea allowed two runs in six innings, and Albert Belle hit his second homer in two nights to extend the Orioles' losing streak to four games.
Orioles left fielder Brady Anderson extended his American League record of consecutive stolen bases to 35, when he swiped second base in the seventh inning. That might have been the only good thing that occurred to the Orioles in three days.
They were outscored 20-5. Their No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers were beaten. They had one hit with runners in scoring position in three days.
A total disaster. The only saving grace is that while the Indians have been embarrassing the Orioles, the division-leading Boston Red Sox have continued to struggle.
The clash of Scott Klingenbeck vs. the best hitting team in the world seemed like a total mismatch. Rather than placing a line on the outcome, Las Vegas oddsmakers might've been better off setting odds on which inning Klingenbeck departed. The right-hander was making his third major-league start.
Klingenbeck is, at least in this stage of his career, a right-handed Jamie Moyer. Don't expect any no-hitters, don't expect any shutouts. But he will fight. He won't give in to hitters, nibbling on the outside corner and throwing inside when necessary.
He battled the Indians, and survived for 4 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and five walks.
BTC Kenny Lofton hit a check-swing single to start the game, and then Klingenbeck picked him off first. Cleveland had runners at first and second later in the inning, and Klin genbeck made a decent pitch to Eddie Murray, breaking his bat, but Murray dropped a run-scoring single into center.
Manny Ramirez walked to start the second inning, stole second, and Klingenbeck scrapped. He retired Paul Sorrento on a chopper back to the pitcher, and struck out Tony Pena. But, pitching to Lofton, he threw a slider low, and rather than block the ball with his body, catcher Chris Hoiles tried backhanding the pitch -- to no avail. The wild pitch allowed Ramirez to score from third.
The Indians did more damage with two outs in the third. More to the point, Belle did damage, crashing a bases-empty homer to left.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Klingenbeck retired the first two hitters and then became the latest Orioles pitcher to make the mistake of walking a weak hitter, Omar Vizquel, in a situation where you just can't afford a walk. Due up behind Vizquel: Carlos Baerga, Belle and Murray.
Baerga singled, and Klingenbeck pitched around Belle, walking the slugger to load the bases. Orioles manager Phil Regan called on left-handed reliever Mark Lee to make switch-hitter Murray bat right-handed, his weaker side.
Murray struck out, and all things considered, all the runners on base against Klingenbeck, the Orioles weren't in terrible shape. They still had a chance (which is more than they could say in Tuesday night's 11-0 loss).
The Orioles had scored their first run in the fifth inning, when Hoiles singled and Manny Alexander doubled -- only the Orioles' second hit in their last 40 at-bats with runners on base.
Curtis Goodwin popped to third on the first pitch thrown to him, but Anderson hit a fly deep enough to center to score Hoiles from third.
Rafael Palmeiro, who, at last glance, did not rank among the top eight first baseman in the AL All-Star balloting, homered in the sixth, cutting the lead to 3-2.
The Indians, however, did what all good teams do. They answered the Orioles' run by scoring two of their own immediately. Lee walked Jim Thome leading off the sixth. Ramirez got ahead on the count 3-0, and on a 3-2 pitch, he slammed a single into center, and Thome raced to third.
Sorrento drove a fly ball to deep left, and Thome trotted home. Ramirez stole second after Pena grounded out, and he scored when Lofton singled to center on a belt-high fastball with the count no balls and two strikes.
The Orioles had a great chance to get back in the game in the seventh. Second baseman Alexander, putting together the first three-hit game of his career, led off with a single, and after Goodwin grounded out, again swinging at the first pitch, Anderson singled, moving Alexander to third.
Anderson's hit was the first by the Orioles with a runner in scoring position since Cal Ripken singled in the seventh inning -- against California on Sunday. In between, the Orioles had 31 straight hitless at-bats.
But hitting against hard-throwing Julian Tavarez, Ripken struck out and Palmeiro flied to right field.