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Casilla's first homer lifts Orioles over Indians

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles, who lead the major leagues in homers, have gotten their power from different spots in the lineup all year. Alexi Casilla joined the party Tuesday night.

Casilla hit his first homer of the season, a tiebreaking, three-run shot in the seventh off Justin Masterson that let the Orioles snap a four-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Camden Yards.

Casilla's homer capped a five-run seventh -- Chris Davis hit a two-run shot earlier that inning -- that helped the Orioles rally from an early 3-0 deficit.

Casilla has backed up Ryan Flaherty at second base this season. Flaherty has been on a roll lately, but manager Buck Showalter wanted to put Casilla in.

"Alexi's a talented guy and I'm trying to not let him sit too long," Showalter said. "I know he's going to play tomorrow and I'd like to give him the benefit of two days in a row. And he's had a little success off Masterson. There aren't many guys that have."

Casilla entered the game with a .346 career average (9-for-26) against Masterson.

The Cleveland right-hander breezed through the first six innings, allowing only one run on three hits and holding a 3-1 lead heading into the seventh. But the Orioles (43-35) quickly tied it when Adam Jones got hit, and Davis blasted a two-run homer to right.

Catcher Matt Wieters then walked and went to second on Chris Dickerson's one-out infield single. Both moved up on a wild pitch with Casilla batting, and the second baseman then broke the tie with his three-run homer to right that gave the Orioles the lead.

It was Casilla's first homer this season. His last homer came on Aug. 8, 2012, off Masterson as well. Casilla came into Tuesday's game as the only Baltimore starter with a homer vs. Masterson.

He said he felt great after he hit that home run because he felt like he had to do something for the team after it had lost four straight.

Masterson (9-6) didn't even allow a baserunner until the fifth, but the Orioles changed everything in that five-run seventh.

"It was just lack of execution on my part," Masterson said. "There was no focus lost. The focus was there. I just didn't execute."

That was enough to give Orioles starter Chris Tillman (9-2) his sixth consecutive victory. Tillman was erratic early in the game, walking four in the first three innings, but he settled down to give Baltimore seven innings.

He allowed three runs on four hits, struck out six and walked four.

"It was definitely a grind for me tonight," Tillman said. "I was off the first couple of innings. I found a way to get back into it. I give credit to Wieters. I don't know how he does it sometimes, but he did an outstanding job getting me back on track."

Troy Patton took care of the eighth for Baltimore and closer Jim Johnson recorded his 27th save in the ninth. The Indians (39-37) twice brought the tying run up, but Johnson escaped without giving up a run.

The Indians jumped on top quickly, scoring a run off Tillman in the top of the first inning. Mike Aviles singled with one out and Tillman loaded the bases by walking both Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher. Michael Brantley followed with a sacrifice fly to left for a 1-0 lead.

Tillman and the Orioles then got a break when Carlos Santana blooped one to short left that third baseman Manny Machado made a great catch on while stumbling and falling away from the infield.

Tillman escaped more trouble in the second. He walked Mark Reynolds to start the inning, and the former Oriole raced to third on Lonnie Chisenhall's single.

Reynolds then got caught off third when Drew Stubbs grounded to Machado. The Orioles got Reynolds in a short rundown for the first out, and Tillman retired the next two batters.

Cleveland made it 3-0 in the fifth when Kipnis hit a two-run homer to left. That was more than enough for Masterson early as he retired the first 12 Orioles.

Jones became the first Baltimore baserunner, with a leadoff single in the fifth. He went to third on Davis' single and later scored on a J.J. Hardy force-out to make it 3-1.

NOTES: The Orioles announced that they've agreed to terms on deals with their first-round draft picks, right-handed pitcher Hunter Harvey and outfielder Josh Hart. Harvey is from Bandys (N.C.) High School and Hart comes from Parkview (Ga.) High. ... Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen is expected to go on a rehab assignment this weekend. He has been out since May 12 with a strained left oblique muscle. ... Aviles' single in the first inning snapped an 0-for-17 streak for the shortstop. ... Kipnis' home run stretched his hitting streak to seven games. He has driven in 17 runs this month.

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