CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians just keep on winning away from Progressive Field.
With Wednesday’s 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Indians improved to 38-32 overall and 23-15 away from home this season, as well as 6-1 on the current road trip, while the Orioles dropped below the .500 mark, 35-36.
Courtesy of their sixth win in the last seven road contests, the Indians maintained a 1.5-game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division standings heading into Thursday’s series finale in Baltimore.
“I think we’re playing like the team we’re capable of being,” reliever Andrew Miller said.
In Wednesday’s victory over the Orioles, shortstop Francisco Lindor and catcher Roberto Perez combined for four hits, and three of those produced runs in the victory.
The Indians took a 3-0 advantage with key hits from Perez and shortstop Francisco Lindor in the top of the fifth inning.
Center fielder Bradley Zimmer got the rally started with a one-out single to center on an 0-2 pitch from Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, and Perez followed with an RBI double up the alley in left-center field, which put the Indians in the lead.
Then, on a 2-2 pitch from Gausman, Lindor belted a two-run home run to center field, and his 14th blast of the season gave Cleveland a three-run edge.
In addition to Lindor and Perez, Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez extended his hitting streak to nine consecutive games with a single to left-center field in the top of the fourth inning. Then, with a ninth-inning single, Ramirez became the first Indians player since Roy Hughes (1936) to have nine straight multi-hit games.
“As a pitcher, most of us are just so happy to have him in the field,” Miller said of Ramirez. “The plays he makes for us in that aspect are huge, but he’s just lights-out right now.
“Everything he hits is hard. His at-bats are good, even when he does get out. A lot of our guys are going pretty good right now, and I think that’s why we’re playing really good baseball. It’s a credit to them, and it can’t be an easy lineup to pitch against, in particular right now.”
Following Thursday’s game against the Orioles, the Indians will return to Progressive Field for a weekend series with the Minnesota Twins and a four-game set with the Texas Rangers. Then, the Indians will play a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park before coming back to Cleveland for another six-game homestand.
The Indians are hoping to take their confidence from the road and start to improve their play in front of the home fans.
“We were essentially a .500 team for a long time this season, and it seemed like it was a rut that was hard to break out of, but this road trip’s been great, and hopefully, it’s something that we really carry forward,” Miller said.
“There’s 25 guys in here that really think we can be a special team. We just haven’t done it to this point, and I think this is hopefully, the start to that.”