Aviles HR in 11th sends Indians past Orioles
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Aviles led off the bottom of the 11th inning with the deciding homer, giving Cleveland a 2-1 decision over Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series.
Brian Matusz (2-3) recorded the final out of the Tribe 10th, but allowed Aviles to clear the wall in left to end the contest. The homer allowed Aviles, who cranked his first career walkoff shot, to relieve the tension of a 1- for-15 slump.
"This would have been a tough one to lose," was the sentiment shared by Indians manager Terry Francona.
Scott Atchison (6-0) tossed two scoreless relief frames for the victory as the Indians won for the fourth time in their last five games. Corey Kluber turned in another excellent start, fanning 10 over 7 2/3 innings while allowing one run on five hits and a pair of walks.
"He makes the ball go both ways, and has good command," said O's manager Buck Showalter in praise of Kluber. "He's got out pitches, he's got a good angle and he's got good life and he pounds the strikes zone."
Zach Walters posted two hits, including a homer, for Cleveland.
J.J. Hardy finished 2-for-4 and knocked in the lone run for the AL East leaders, who were coming off a two-game home sweep of the Yankees.
Walters broke the scoreless deadlock to kick off the home fifth with a shot which just made it over the high wall in left-center before being dropped by a fan. Replay upheld the original call.
Nelson Cruz was the last batter Kluber faced in the eighth, giving up a two- out single to the Baltimore outfielder. Bryan Shaw followed by allowing hits to Delmon Young and Hardy -- which scored Cruz for a 1-1 game. Cody Allen then retired Ryan Flaherty on a fly ball to left to end the inning.
"It's a shame we couldn't pull one out for 'Klubes,'" Aviles noted. "At least we won the game."
Cleveland failed to end the contest in the ninth with runners on first and second, after Walters fanned against Darren O'Day.
Kluber has recorded eight starts of 10-or-more Ks in 2014, tying a team record last attained by Dennis Eckersley in 1976 ... Prior to the contest, the Indians activated center fielder Michael Bourn from the 15-day disabled list to take the place on the 25-man roster of pitcher John Axford, who was claimed off waivers by the Pirates on Thursday.
08/16 00:49:34 ET