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Wieters powers Orioles' rout of Indians

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BALTIMORE (AP)

There have been times this season when Matt Wieters looked every bit like a rookie trying to learn to play baseball at the highest level. There have also been games in which Wieters displayed the potential that prompted the Baltimore Orioles to make him the fifth overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft. Against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night, Wieters put on a performance that definitely fit into the latter category. The switch-hitting catcher went 3 for 4, doubled twice and drove in a career-high four runs in a 13-4 rout. "I was sort of able to get into a little rhythm, which I haven't had to the extent I had it tonight," Wieters said. "So I can build on that and move forward." Wieters lifted his batting average nine points to .272 and increased his RBI total to 26, modest numbers for 64 games but plenty good enough for a 23-year-old in his second professional season. "Hopefully he's feeling a little more comfortable. He's swinging the bat good," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "They're pitching him away and he's hitting it over there from both sides. Then they pitched him in tonight and he turned on it down the line. That's great for him." It was the first time Wieters had more than two RBIs in a game, and only the third time he got more than two hits. "It will be good to see how they're going to pitch you this last month," he said, "to find out the things you really need to work on in the offseason." Nick Markakis and Felix Pie each had a homer and three RBIs and Luke Scott scored three runs for Baltimore, now 13-28 since the All-Star break. The Orioles trailed 2-0 in the second before scoring six runs over a four-inning stretch against Fausto Carmona (3-9). Jason Berken (4-11) won his second straight start, allowing two runs, five hits and three walks in five innings. The rookie twice worked out of bases-loaded jams by retiring Luis Valbuena on fly balls. After the second one, a sizzling liner to right on the right-hander's 97th and final pitch, Berken looked skyward with relief as he headed toward the dugout. Like Wieters, he hopes to end his rookie season with a flourish. "I feel very fortunate for the opportunities that I've had, but now it's time for me to finish strong this last month and to continue to pitch well, continue to get better," he said. Matt LaPorta homered for the Indians, who stranded 13 and went 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position. "We left some runners on out there today when it was still a close ballgame," manager Eric Wedge said. "I felt like we had some decent ABs, but we didn't have much to show for it. Then it really got away from us at the end." The Orioles used a three-run fourth to go up 5-2. Successive doubles by Scott and Wieters produced a run before Brian Roberts hit an RBI grounder and Pie doubled in a run. Ty Wigginton chased Carmona with an RBI single in the fifth. Carmona, who gave up six runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings, said, "A couple of pitches missed and I got some groundballs that nobody (caught). I'll keep going for next time." Wedge said, "I think he's still a work in progress. That's why we're going to keep sending him out there every fifth day." After LaPorta homered in the sixth, Pie connected off Jensen Lewis in the bottom half. Lewis then walked the bases loaded before Wieters hit a two-run single. Pie hit an RBI single in the seventh, but got a cramp running to first base and was removed from the game. Later in the inning, Markakis added a three-run homer off Jess Todd. NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 56 minutes by rain. ... Orioles CF Adam Jones missed a fifth straight game with back spasms. He is expected back Saturday. ... Grady Sizemore was hit by a pitch, increasing Cleveland's major league lead in HBPs to 75. ... Markakis, who came in 1 for 14 lifetime against Carmona, went 2 for 3 against the right-hander. ... Cleveland has homered in seven straight games, tying a season high.
Tagged: Indians, Orioles

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