CLEVELAND—In just his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery, John Means pitched 6 2/3 innings hitless innings, and the Orioles reduced their magic number to five.
Means (1-1), who threw a solo no-hitter in Seattle on May 5th, 2021, struck out four, walked one and hit a batter. He didn’t allow a hit until Cleveland’s Andrés Giménez homered on a changeup with two outs in the seventh.
Means was lifted for Yennier Cano after retiring Jose Téna for the first out in the eighth. Means threw 96 pitches in his longest start since the no-hitter.
The Orioles’ 2-1 win over the Guardians before an announced crowd of 28,271 at Progressive Field on Saturday night broke a three-game losing streak. Their lead over Tampa Bay in the American League East is still 1 ½ games after the Rays came back to beat Toronto, 7-6. Any combination of Orioles wins and Tampa Bay losses equaling five gives Baltimore its first AL East title since 2014.
Cano retired the two batters he faced in the eighth. Cionel Pérez pitched a perfect ninth to complete the one-hitter and record his third save.
Gunnar Henderson led off with a walk by Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill (3-7) and advanced to third on Adley Rutschman’s single. Anthony Santander’s double scored Henderson, but Rutschman was thrown out at the plate when Ryan O’Hearn grounded to second.
The Orioles left 11 on base in the first six innings and finally scored again in the sixth when James McCann, Rutschman and Santander all singled, and the Orioles (96-59) led, 2-0.
It was Means’ first win since September 20th, 2021.
Myles Straw walked with two outs in the third. Gabriel Arias was hit by a pitch with two outs in the fifth.
Quantrill allowed a run on five hits in four innings with four walks and four strikeouts for Cleveland (74-82).
Notes: The Orioles have now gone 89 series without being swept, the fourth longest in baseball history. … Shortstop Jackson Holliday and first baseman Coby Mayo both drove in four runs, and rightfielder Kyle Stowers and leftfielder Colton Coswer drove in three as Triple-A Norfolk beat Buffalo, 15-10. The Tides clinched the best record in the International League. Stowers hit two home runs. Holliday and Mayo homered. … Kyle Gibson (14-9, 5.00) will face Triston McKenzie (0-1, 4.50) on Sunday at 1:40 p.m.