BALTIMORE—Nolan Reimold hadn’t had many big hits recently. In fact, he hadn’t had many hits at all. Reimold broke out of an 0-for-16 slump with a two-run, game-ending home run.
It was his first home run since May 29, and just his second RBI since June 1.
The big home run gave the Orioles a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians, 5-3 before 37,821 at Oriole Park on Sunday.
It was Reimold’s fifth home run of the season and the third game-ending homer of his career, but his first in nearly five years.
With Joey Rickard on the disabled list, Reimold should be getting more opportunities to play. Reimold faced right-handed Cody Allen (2-4), and wasn’t expecting to hit for the left-handed Julio Borbon.
“Actually I was really surprised. I was down underneath ready to pinch run in case they wanted me to do that. I wasn’t really expecting to hit with the righty out there. So, I’m glad he did pinch hit me,” Reimold said.
“I haven’t been swinging the bat very well lately as it is. I was just in the cage a few innings before trying to work on some things.”
Pedro Alvarez struck out to start the ninth, but the ball got by Roberto Perez. Perez quickly retrieved the ball, but it hit Alvarez in the back and squirted away for an error.
“As long as I have been playing baseball the rule is you run down the baseline,” Alvarez said. “I saw the ball get away from him and I just ran down to first base. The ball crossed my path at some point, ricocheted off me and I beat the throw. I just think that's playing the game the right way.”
Ryan Flaherty’s bunt sent Alvarez to second, and after Caleb Joseph struck out, Reimold had the big hit on a 2-0 count.
“Nolan works hard at it. I know the hitting coaches said they’ve been working on a couple things the last couple days and think he’s real close. I think the key to it was laying off two breaking balls where you get into a hitter’s count and get a fastball,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Darren O’Day (3-1), who in his first appearance since June 1 due to a strained right hamstring, struck out the side in the ninth and got the win. He seemed somewhat surprised to be in the game.
“I did one rehab outing and you’d think that it’d be a game where we were down by a couple runs, just get your feet wet, but oddly enough I was more calm today than I usually am. I think it’s just being gone, being away from the guys and the competition, makes you appreciate what you get to do and to be in the moment and get to pitch in a big spot. There is guys standing out there in 90-something degrees and to be able to keep that going and perform in that arena I think it really helped me a lot,” O’Day said.
Worley pitched seven innings, his longest outing since Sept. 21, giving up two runs on five hitsTyler Naquin’s RBI double and Perez’s sacrifice fly gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
The Orioles tied it in the fourth, Jonathan Schoop led off with a double and scored on Manny Machado’s single. Machado took second on the throw home and moved to third on Chris Davis’ infield out. Mark Trumbo walked.
Alvarez grounded to short, and Trumbo was out at second, and first base umpire Brian Gorman called Alvarez out at first, but it was quickly overruled after a replay challenge. Machado scored from third to tie the game at 2.
Schoop hit a homer in the fifth, his 17th to give the Orioles (57-40) a 3-2 lead.
After Naquin’s double, Worley retired 11 straight and left it up to Brad Brach for the eighth.
Brach began by allowing a single to Jason Kipnis. Francisco Lindor grounded to Schoop at second, but with Kipnis passing him, Schoop tried to field it too quickly as was charged with an error.
Mike Napoli’s single scored Kipnis and Cleveland (56-41) tied it at 3.
The Orioles are now 36-14 at home.
“I don't know what it is but for some reason when we do come home we do seem to play all-around better. I don’t know if it’s because of our home fans or what, but we just seem to click. When we need big hits, we get it done,” Worley said.
NOTES: Hyun Soo Kim was 0-for-3 in his rehab start at Bowie. …Jorge De La Rosa (6-7, 6.07) faces Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.69) on Monday night as the Colorado Rockies begin a three-game series with the Orioles.