BALTIMORE (AP) In a duel between first-place teams, the most notable performances were turned in by Mark Trumbo, who hit his major league leading 30th home run, and Kevin Gausman, who pitched seven shutout innings.
Chris Davis was the difference-maker, however, in the Baltimore Orioles' 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.
Though Davis is known for his mammoth home runs, the hustle of the 230-pound slugger helped propel the Orioles past the AL Central leaders.
With runners at the corners and one out in the first inning, Davis hit a potential double-play grounder to second base. After the force at second, Davis beat the relay by a step to get an RBI and keep the inning alive.
''That's a play that needs to be made,'' Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. ''Tip your hat to Chris Davis for running so hard down the line.''
Trumbo followed with a no-doubt shot to left off Josh Tomlin (10-3) for a 3-0 lead.
Davis has eight fewer homers than Trumbo and is batting just .228, but his 59th RBI was pivotal for the AL East-leading Orioles.
''Huge,'' Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. ''Chris runs balls out.''
Pedro Alvarez also homered for the Orioles, who will seek to complete a three-game sweep Sunday. Cleveland has scored three runs in 18 innings thus far.
Trumbo has homered in each of the first two games. Playing in his first season with Baltimore, the 2016 All-Star already has eight more home runs than last year and is just four short of matching his career high, set in 2013 with the Angels.
''He's been very valuable, a real consistent human being,'' Showalter said.
After earning only one win in his first 16 starts, Gausman (2-7) struck out seven and allowed only one runner past first base. The right-hander gave up four hits and walked three but was backed by three double plays.
Brad Brach surrendered a two-out, two-run single to Lonnie Chisenhall in the ninth before Zach Britton got the final out for his 32nd save. Britton tied Willie Hernandez of the 1984 Detroit Tigers for the longest save streak to start a season by a left-hander, according to STATS.
The Orioles improved to 35-14 at home and 18-6 against the AL Central.
Although Tomlin settled down after the rocky first inning, Alvarez chased the right-hander with a leadoff homer in the seventh, and Jonathan Schoop added an RBI single off Jeff Manship for a 5-0 lead.
Tomlin struck out eight, walked none and allowed seven hits in falling to 6-1 on the road. He has given up 24 homers this season, matching his career high.
Were it not for Davis, his line would have been much better.
''I wish he'd have run slower,'' Indians manager Terry Francona lamented.
The Indians signed LHP Joe Thatcher to a minor league contract Saturday. The 34-year-old played in spring training with Cleveland but did not make the team. He pitched in the minors for the Dodgers until opting out of his contract in early June.
Indians: 3B Juan Uribe was not in the starting lineup after being plunked on the batting helmet above the left ear Friday night. He pinch hit in the ninth. ... RHP Zach McAllister (hip) pitched for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday, was to throw on the side Saturday and pitch again on Monday. ''He says he feels really good,'' manager Terry Francona said.
Orioles: C Matt Wieters (foot) missed a fifth straight game. Manager Buck Showalter hopes to have him back Monday. ... RHP Darren O'Day (hamstring) will likely be activated from the DL on Sunday or Monday, Showalter said. ... RHP Ubaldo Jimenez was placed on the paternity leave list. His wife is due to give birth on Aug. 21 but could deliver early. ... OF Hyun Soo Kim (hamstring) is slated to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie next week.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (9-8. 3.42 ERA) makes his 20th start of the season in the series finale Sunday. He's got three of Cleveland's five complete games.
Orioles: RHP Vance Worley (2-1, 3.16) gets his fourth start for Baltimore. He didn't make it out of the fifth inning in his last outing, a loss to the Yankees.