By Bryan Jeon
It’s virtually impossible to predict an inside-the-park homerun. I’ve realized it’s rarely a ball hit in the corner that just takes the outfielder a long time to get to; rather, the outfielder usually falls in an attempt to catch the ball on the fly, leaving the ball rolling on the ground for several seconds before the neighboring outfielder can throw the ball back in the infield.
Such was the case Friday, as centerfielder Corey Patterson fell awkwardly after a seemingly possible catch at the warning track. The ball went off the wall and redirected towards leftfielder Jay Payton, who threw the ball in too late for the speedy Grady Sizemore.
The Cleveland Indians (13-7) won their sixth straight game, edging out the Baltimore Orioles (11-12) 5-4, scoring all five runs in the sixth inning, capped by the 3-run inside-the-park homerun by Sizemore. The Orioles came right back to score three in the seventh to trail by just one but Joe Borowski would have none of it, recording his ninth save of the year (to tie the major league-lead with Francisco Cordero and Jose Valverde).
Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada played in his 1,103rd consecutive game, tying Joe Sewell for the sixth-longest streak in history.
Jake Westbrook (1-2), who signed a 3-year, $33 million contract extension on April 13, won for the first time this season, giving up 3 runs off six hits in 6 1/3 innings pitched. With a career 4.45 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, Westbrook lowered his season ERA to 7.96 with a 1.62 WHIP. How pathetic, what’s the reasoning behind granting a contract to an unproven pitcher? I guess I’ll never get it.
Check out Sizemore’s game-winner here. Last year’s run-scoring leader is off to another solid start, with 22 runs (2nd in the American League behind Alex Rodriguez, who literally walks home half the time), 7 stolen bases (3rd in AL) and 19 walks (2nd in AL).