CLEVELAND (AP) — Jim Thome’s two-run homer in the seventh inning led the Baltimore Orioles to their fourth straight victory, a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.
Thome, who passed Sammy Sosa for seventh place on the all-time home run list on Friday, hit his 611th and second with Baltimore since being acquired from Philadelphia on July 1 off Zach McAllister (4-2).
Chris Tillman (2-1) allowed only Shin Soo-Choo’s leadoff homer in the first in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander, making his third start of the season since being called up earlier this month, gave up six hits, struck out four and walked one.
Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his league-leading 29th save.
Zach McAllister (4-2) made only two major mistakes, but they cost him the game. Thome hit a 1-0 pitch to right field after J.J. Hardy started the seventh with a single. Ryan Flaherty added a solo shot in the eighth for his second homer in as many nights.
The Indians have lost three straight and six of eight. Cleveland has scored three or fewer runs six times in that stretch.
The Orioles have won four straight for the first time since a season high-tying five-game streak June 9-14. Baltimore had lost six of seven before winning the final two games of a series in Minnnesota and rolling to a 10-2 victory over the Indians on Friday.
Thome has 190 career homers at Progressive Field. The left-handed slugger holds Cleveland’s career record with 337 homers. A key part of the Indians’ powerful lineup from 1991-2002, Thome returned for the final two months of the 2011 season.
Tillman’s start had much better results than his last outing in Monday’s 19-7 loss to Minnesota when he gave up seven runs, (one earned) in two-thirds of an inning.
Choo hit a 1-2 pitch to right field for his 11th homer of the season and fifth to lead off a game.
McAllister did his best to make that lead hold up until the seventh.
Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez has been suspended for three weeks by Major League Baseball for age and identity fraud. General manager Chris Antonetti said Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, has received a visa to return to the United States and that he would be eligible to rejoin the team Aug. 11.
NOTES: The Orioles added INF Omar Quintanilla, acquired from the New York Mets for cash on Friday, to their 25-man roster and designated OF Steve Pearce for assignment. RHP Matt Lindstrom, who was struck on the left knee by a line drive Friday, had X-rays Saturday and was unavailable to pitch. The Indians signed LHP J.C. Romero to a minor league contract and added him to the Triple-A Columbus roster. Romero, who has pitched in the majors for 11 seasons, was released by St. Louis earlier this season. LHP Rafael Perez (strained lat muscle) will pitch two innings on a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Monday. Game 3 of the series takes place Sunday.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)