Orioles 3, Indians 2, 10 innings
The Orioles desperately needed a jolt of optimism, and Nick Markakis delivered.
Markakis singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Orioles a 3-2 comeback victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
Jay Payton hit his first homer with Baltimore and scored the decisive run for the Orioles, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Markakis drove in the final two runs for Baltimore, which improved to 2-14 when trailing after seven innings.
“That was a big win,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. “We needed it.”
Baltimore began the game in last place in the AL East, and the outlook worsened before the game when Loewen was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his pitching elbow. He became the third Orioles starter to be placed on the disabled list, joining Kris Benson and Jaret Wright.
“We can all feel sorry for ourselves. No one else is going to,” Perlozzo said. “We’ve got to go on out there and keep playing. We’ll just have to outslug some people; that’s what we’re capable of.”
The Orioles didn’t exactly outslug the Indians, but at least they outscored them. Markakis led the way, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
“I love it being in that pressure,” said Markakis, who tied the game with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.
Casey Blake homered for the Indians, whose four-game winning streak ended. Cleveland had won 10 of 11 and was 3-0 in extra innings.
Payton led off the 10th with a single off Tom Mastny (2-1) and Corey Patterson followed a perfectly placed bunt between the mound and first. Mastny retrieved the ball but threw wildly to first, allowing Payton to reach third.
“The guy laid down a great bunt,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He probably should have held on to the ball and kept them at first and second. We got ourselves into a jam right there.”
After an intentional walk to Brian Roberts loaded the bases with no outs, Markakis singled inside the first-base line to win it.
“We had our opportunities prior to that,” Wedge said. “We didn’t do a very good job in hitters’ counts today.”
The Indians managed only six hits and went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
Chris Ray (3-2) worked two innings to cap a fine performance by the Baltimore bullpen, which retired 12 of 15 batters.
Indians starter Paul Byrd allowed one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He left with a 2-1 lead, but the bullpen lost the advantage.
The Orioles drew even in the eighth against Rafael Betancourt. Patterson hit a one-out double and took third on a single by Roberts before Markakis hit a run-scoring fly. After Miguel Tejada singled to put runners at the corners, Ramon Hernandez flied out.
Byrd was backed by double plays in the first and second innings, but Payton put the Orioles up 1-0 in the third with a drive to left on an 0-2 pitch.
Bedard had a no-hitter through four innings, then lost the lead after facing two batters in the fifth. Jhonny Peralta led off with a bloop single and Blake followed with his third home run, a liner that passed just inside the left-field foul pole.
It was the team-high seventh homer allowed by Bedard, who gave up 16 all last season.
Markakis hit a two-out double in the bottom half, but Tejada followed with a groundout to first. After Byrd left in the seventh, Aaron Fultz struck out Jay Gibbons with two outs and a runner on second.
The Orioles have trailed in 10 of their 13 wins. … Hafner walked twice, giving him an AL-leading 27 for the season. … Gibbons was 0-for-9 lifetime against Byrd before hitting a fifth-inning single.