The Orioles have reeled off five straight victories since enduring a long rough patch and will go for a four-game sweep of the Indians on Monday at Progressive Field.
Baltimore sends Tommy Hunter to the mound as it tries to finish its eight-game road trip at 6-2. Cleveland will counter with Justin Masterson in an effort to turn around a 2-7 stretch.
Run prevention has driven the Orioles' recent surge, with the team giving up 10 runs during its five-game streak. Manager Buck Showalter credited his defense, especially for the first two wins of the Cleveland series.
"We've made some good defensive plays the last couple nights," Showalter said on Sunday. "They've hit some balls hard. Our guys are watchers. They pay attention. If not, I remind them to do so. You have two good catchers here who are into the game."
That defense will try to support Hunter (4-4, 5.71 ERA), who is coming off one of his best starts this season. On Wednesday at Minnesota, the right-hander allowed one run on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out one but also didn't issue any walks in earning his second win since April 24.
Masterson (6-8, 4.29) wasn't nearly so effective in his last start, on Wednesday at Tampa Bay. The righty issued a career-high seven walks in 4 1/3 innings, while striking out only one and giving up four runs on seven hits.
Control wasn't a problem for Masterson when he faced the Orioles on July 1 at Camden Yards. On that day, he struck out seven and walked none while holding Baltimore to one earned run in seven innings.
Orioles: Quintanilla penciled in for first start
Baltimore acquired Omar Quintanilla from the Mets on Friday, and the veteran infielder should find himself in the team's starting lineup for the first time on Monday.
"I'm trying to give 'Q' a couple of days to get grounded," Showalter said on Sunday. "I plan on playing him [Monday] somewhere."
Quintanilla has appeared mostly at second base and shortstop over parts of seven big league seasons. He hit .257 with a .721 OPS in 80 plate appearances for the Mets this year.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy is coming off his first multi-hit game since July 3. Hardy went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs on Sunday, snapping a 6-for-57 skid over his previous 14 games.
Indians: Keeping an eye on the Deadline
With a little more than a week left before the July 31 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, the Indians are hanging in the American League Central race, 4 1/2 games behind the Tigers and three behind the White Sox.
Cleveland hasn't executed any moves yet, although general manager Chris Antonetti has said the club is actively pursuing them. For reliever Vinny Pestano, however, a potential trade doesn't represent a magic bullet.
"We keep leaning back on the 'We haven't played our best baseball yet' line, and we haven't," Pestano said. "But we've been very inconsistent this year, and I don't know if adding a piece is going to bring that consistency or not. It's gotta be the right piece."
The Indians have scored three runs or fewer in four straight games and seven of the last eight.
This will be the teams' final meeting of the regular season. The Orioles currently hold a 4-3 advantage.
Masterson's 3.54 home ERA this season is nearly two runs better than his road ERA.
Hunter gave up five earned runs on eight hits in a 1 2/3-inning relief appearance against the Indians on June 30.
Hunter started Sunday with the Majors' highest rate of home runs allowed per nine innings, at 2.14. He has surrendered at least one homer in 14 of his 16 games.