O’s defeat Tribe
BALTIMORE – Justin Masterson was perfect through four innings. After six, the Cleveland Indians right-hander was still in control against the flailing Baltimore Orioles.
And then everything fell apart.
Chris Davis and Alexi Casilla homered in a five-run seventh, and the Orioles beat the Indians 6-3 Tuesday night to end a four-game losing streak.
Davis tied the game at 3 with his major league-leading 28th home run, a two-run shot. Casilla hadn’t homered all season before delivering a three-run drive off Masterson (9-6).
On a team that leads the majors in home runs, contact can come from anyone – even the No. 9 batter in the order.
“That’s what we talked about before the series to all our pitchers,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “When you let them get their arms extended, especially in this ballpark, they are very dangerous 1 through 9.”
The Baltimore seventh began with Masterson hitting Adam Jones with a pitch and Davis sending the next offering into the bleachers. After Matt Wieters drew a walk and Chris Dickerson reached on a check-swing grounder, both runners moved up on a wild pitch.
Then Casilla cleared the bases.
“Lack of execution in the seventh inning by me and they took advantage of it,” Masterson said. “Chris Davis, he does what he’s been doing, he takes it out. Then a high slider to Casilla. A couple of tough pitches.”
It was Casilla’s first home run since August 8, 2012 – also off Masterson. That was enough to end a four-game skid in which Baltimore lost three games to Toronto and another to Cleveland by a combined 29-15 score.
“I feel great to hit that home run after we lost four games,” Casilla said through interpreter Einar Diaz. “I felt like I had to come and do something for the team and I did it that time.”
Chris Tillman (9-2) gave up three runs, four hits and four walks in seven innings to win his fifth straight start. The right-hander is 6-0 in seven starts since May 19.
He was in position to lose until Davis and Casilla went deep.
“Awesome, awesome,” Tillman said. “Last year, I think it’s every night, it’s somebody new, somebody else. It’s good to see. This is a pretty tight-knit team and we enjoy seeing that. It’s fun for all of us.”
Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 27th save.
Jason Kipnis homered, walked twice and singled for the Indians, who were seeking a fourth straight road victory for the first time since April 2012.
Masterson, who retired the first 12 batters he faced, took a three-hitter into the seventh but ended up allowing six runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings.
“It’s a good lineup,” the right-hander said. “Everything was working well through six innings. Unfortunately we got to the seventh. Then it wasn’t working as well.”
Early on, the Indians chipped away at Tillman while Masterson cruised through the Baltimore lineup.
“He’s phenomenal,” leadoff hitter Nate McLouth said. “He’s one of those elite guys. He completely dominated us through four innings. We were just going up there hacking, trying to put something together. A lot of times you’re not going to be able to, but tonight we were.”
Cleveland used a single, two walks and a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley to go up 1-0 in the first inning.
In the second, the Indians put runners at the corners with no outs but could not score. After allowing six of the first 12 Cleveland batters to reach base, Tillman retired the next six in a row.
The streak ended in the fifth inning, when Michael Bourn led off with a double and Kipnis hit a 3-1 pitch into the left-field seats.
Baltimore got a run back in the bottom half. Jones singled, took third on a single by Davis and scored on a grounder by J.J. Hardy.
NOTES: Cleveland dropped to 11-2 on the road when leading after six innings. … Jason Hammel, who’s 0-3 with a 6.20 ERA lifetime against the Indians, takes the mound for the Orioles on Wednesday night. Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Indians. … The Orioles signed their top two draft picks, RHP Hunter Harvey and OF Josh Hart. … Cleveland’s Mike Aviles snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a first-inning single. … Masterson and Tillman both yielded home runs for the first time since June 9.