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Jimenez pitches Indians past Orioles 4-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm •  Published: September 3, 2013
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Nothing comes easy for the Cleveland Indians these days.

The Indians cruised into the ninth inning with what seemed a comfortable lead Tuesday night, but had to hang on for a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Ubaldo Jimenez pitched six shutout innings while Yan Gomes and Asdrubal Cabrera drove in two runs apiece, before Chris Perez finally slammed the door in the ninth after allowing the Orioles to get back in the game.

Perez, pitching in a non-save situation, got into immediate trouble. Singles by Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy started the inning before Nate McLouth's three-run homer on a 3-2 pitch cut the lead to one.

The crowd of 9,962 — and just about everyone else in Progressive Field — got a little nervous, including Jimenez.

"I was a little worried," Jimenez said with a laugh. "It was getting kind of close, but Chris got back to his old ways after they scored those three runs."

Perez struck out Brian Roberts and Manny Machado before facing Chris Davis, who leads the majors with 47 home runs. Davis hit a ground ball to second baseman Jason Kipnis, who was playing in shallow right field, for the final out of the game.

Perez pleaded no contest and was convicted of misdemeanor drug abuse Tuesday for marijuana shipped to his home in the family dog's name, an incident that took place in June. Despite the fact Perez appeared in court earlier in the day, Indians manager Terry Francona didn't hesitate to use his closer.

"I actually thought he threw the ball pretty well," Francona said. "He got the ball up to McLouth, but for the most part I thought he threw the ball pretty good."

Jimenez (10-9) has allowed three earned runs or less in eight consecutive starts. The right-hander held Baltimore to four hits and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.

"He goes out there and gives us six shutout innings against that lineup," Francona said. "That's exciting."

Gomes' two-run double was the key hit in Cleveland's sixth. Cabrera had sacrifices flies in the fourth and sixth.

Orioles starter Chris Tillman (15-5) allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander has one win in his last six starts.

Both teams are battling for the second wild card spot in the American League. Baltimore entered Tuesday's play two games behind while Cleveland was 3½ games off the pace.

The Indians, who had lost six of seven, needed some good news. Justin Masterson, the team's No. 1 starter, will miss at least one start because of a strained left oblique. The right-hander could be out the rest of the season.

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