Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Ubaldo Jimenez pitched six scoreless frames to lead the Cleveland Indians to a crucial 4-3 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday at Progressive Field.
Jimenez yielded four hits with two walks and four strikeouts to improve his record to 10-9. With the shutout, he lowered his ERA to 3.79 from 6.04 on May 22. Over his past eight turns, Jimenez has fashioned a 2.22 ERA, with 53 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings.
Cody Allen and Joe Smith combined for two scoreless frames while Chris Perez surrendered a three-run shot to outfielder Nate McLouth in the ninth before securing the win for the Indians.
With the victory, the Indians (73-65) are now three games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second American League Wild card spot.
Chris Tillman (15-5) absorbed the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts as the Orioles dropped 2 ½ games behind the Rays for the final Wild Card berth.
Asdrubal Cabrera put the Indians on the board with a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the fourth. Two innings later, Cabrera delivered another RBI sacrifice fly to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
Two batters later, catcher Yan Gomes crushed a pitch from Tillman deep to left for a two-run double for a 4-0 lead.
Before the game, the team announced that ace Justin Masterson will miss at least one start with a left oblique strain, which could put his season to an end. However, the Indians are hopeful that the right-hander can return before the end of the month.
He was removed from Monday’s game against Baltimore after facing just five hitters because of what Cleveland described then as soreness on the left side of his ribcage.
“With these types of things, I think it’s probably reasonable to think that he’s going to miss a little time here,” manager Terry Francona said. “The hope would be that it’s not the rest of the season. But we’ll just keep monitoring him and see how he’s progressing.”
Masterson, a first-time All-Star this season, is 14-10 with a 3.52 ERA.