For the majority of the first half of the Orioles’ season, it has been rare for their bats to be hot at the same time as their pitchers. On Friday night, everything came together in a 13-0 win over the Cleveland Indians.
The Orioles won for just the second time in 15 games as John Means pitched five shutout innings and catcher Chance Sisco drove in five runs with three hits.
“We have not had many of these,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We were definitely due for one.”
Means, who missed one start with a left shoulder strain, held the Indians to one hit and lowered his ERA to 2.50. He would rank third in the American League, but he is 5 ⅓ innings short of qualifying.
“I do feel like he's pitching like an All-Star pitcher, and he's giving us All-Star starts,” Hyde said. “Tonight, he really, really located well, and did a great job.”
The Orioles took Means, who averaged 92.4 mph on his fastball, out after 84 pitches. Means said after the game that he was worried at first, but he was feeling fine even after some of the longer innings.
Means’ shutout performance was matched by the hitting. The Orioles more than tripled their average of four runs per game as everyone in the lineup recorded at least one hit. Sisco and right fielder Anthony Santander had three hits apiece and combined for nine RBIs.
“[Andrew Cashner] was giving me crap last game that I was supposed to pitch, that I missed, we scored nine runs,” Means said with a smile and an Orioles floppy hat perched on his head. “I was glad that I came back out tonight and I got eight runs of support in the first three innings.”
In the first inning, Sisco hit a two-out home run to Eutaw Street, the 99th in Camden Yards history.
Santander, who had three hits and drove in four runs, and third baseman Rio Ruiz walked with two outs, and Hanser Alberto brought them in with a double.
The Orioles had a 4-0 lead to start the game, and Means pitched a hitless inning to preserve it.
Ahead by four, the Orioles batters were able to settle in and continue producing hits.
“It's relaxing for sure,” Sisco said. “You get a big lead like that, you go out there and have fun the rest of the game.”
To open the bottom of the second, center fielder Stevie Wilkerson hit a ground-rule double. Jonathan Villar followed with a bunt single, which advanced Wilkerson to third, allowing him to come home when left-fielder Dwight Smith Jr. hit a sacrifice fly.
Right-hander Miguel Castro finished without giving up a run in the ninth, which followed up his strong performance against the Padres on Tuesday, when he struck out three and gave up just one hit for no runs.