CLEVELAND -- Brad Bergesen became the latest Bird to win under Buck Showalter.
Bergesen pitched a two-hitter for his first victory in nearly three months and the surging Orioles beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 Wednesday night."He was outstanding," said Showalter, now 8-1 as the Orioles' new manager after their fourth win in a row.Bergesen (4-9) held the Indians hitless until Luis Valbuena singled with two outs in the fifth inning. He retired 12 in a row before Asdrubal Cabrera singled with two outs in the ninth.Showalter thought about going to the bullpen, but decided Bergesen earned the chance to face Cleveland's best hitter, Shin-Soo Choo."He was a bloop and a blast away from a tie game for a few innings," Showalter said. "It was a tough matchup, but he got him, too."Bergesen retired Choo on a routine fly ball to center, completing the best outing by an Orioles starter in Cleveland in 40 years. It was the fewest hits the Indians got at home against a Baltimore starter since Tom Phoebus' two-hit, 13-1 win on April 9, 1970."We couldn't do anything offensively. That was the game," Indians manager Manny Acta said.Baltimore backed Bergesen with 13 hits and he won for the first time in 13 starts. He had gone 0-7 with a 6.65 ERA and was sent to the minors for two weeks in June since his last win for the Orioles, on May 12 against Seattle."I don't dwell on that," Showalter said. "He showed tonight what he is capable of doing at this level."Bergesen walked two and struck out four. The right-hander got through the seventh and eighth on only 15 pitches as Baltimore became the last team in the American League to reach 40 wins this season."We're not a team that who will be looking at those guys like the worst team in baseball," Acta said. "We're not the New York Yankees ourselves."Rookie Josh Tomlin (1-2) took the loss. Cleveland has 47 wins, but has lost four straight and nine of its last 11 at home.Baltimore's starting pitchers posted a 1.89 ERA on a 6-1 homestand. Bergesen got the rotation back on track following a 14-8 win Tuesday night and credited his defense."I think every player in the field made a play," he said. "That gives you confidence."Bergesen joked that he learned not to shake off pitches called by catcher Matt Wieters. He did it on Valbuena's hit."He shook me off more than that," Wieters said. "He had his best stuff in a long time. He was attacking the zone and had a good feel for the game with a sharp slider and sinker."The Orioles scored an unearned run in the first. A passed ball by catcher Chris Gimenez set up Luke Scott's RBI groundout.Cesar Izturis' two-out single scored Felix Pie from second base in the fourth to make it 2-0. Pie had reached on a two-out single and moved up on a walk to Matt Wieters.Brian Roberts led off the fifth with his second homer after hitting several foul balls in a 12-pitch at-bat. With two outs, Scott singled and Adam Jones followed with a line-drive double down the left-field line. Cabrera took the throw from left fielder Jordan Brown and his relay was in time to catch Scott, with Gimenez blocking the plate to keep Cleveland's deficit at 3-0.Tomlin gave up 10 hits and two earned runs over five innings in his shortest outing in four starts since being called up from Triple-A Columbus on July 27.Rookie Josh Bell had three hits for the Orioles.Bergesen had shown improvement in his previous two starts before getting locked in against the Indians. He had a 1.93 ERA in a pair of seven-inning no-decisions against Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox.
The only pitchers with more consecutive losses than Bergesen this year are Atlanta's Kenshin Kawakami and Orioles rookie Brian Matusz with nine apiece and Baltimore veteran Kevin Millwood (eight). ... Cleveland recalled RHP Jess Todd and optioned LHP David Huff to Columbus. Huff is 2-11 for the Indians and 6-0 in the minors. "There's a big difference between Triple-A and the big leagues," manager Manny Acta, "and it's not just the meal money." Acta said he hopes Huff starts to understand that he must make adjustments and command his fastball. ... Orioles OF Lou Montanez, out since June 21 with a strained left oblique, started a rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie and RHP Jim Johnson (inflamed right elbow) is expected to join the Baysox on Thursday. ... Indians RHP Anthony Reyes gave up seven runs on one hit, six walks and three wild pitches in a rehab start at Double-A Akron. He pitched a perfect first inning, then got no outs in the second.