By David Ginsburg
BALTIMORE — Ryan Flaherty singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning, Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer, and the Baltimore Orioles broke out of their scoring funk with a 9-8 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
On a steamy night in which temperatures reached 100 degrees, both teams worked up a sweat circling the bases. Cleveland had a season-high 16 hits, but the Orioles scored just enough runs to secure their third win in 10 games.
Chris Davis started the seventh-inning uprising with a two-out single off Joe Smith (5-2). After Wieters walked, Flaherty delivered an RBI single to right.
Xavier Avery hit his first major league homer in the eighth to make it 9-7.
The Orioles went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position after going 3 for 52 in that situation over their previous 10 games. It was the first time in 11 games that Baltimore scored more than three runs.
Matt Lindstrom (1-0) got the last out in the top of the seventh, Pedro Strop worked a perfect eighth and Jim Johnson earned his 23rd save despite giving up a ninth-inning run.
Wieters and Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians both homered onto Eutaw Street, located in front of the B&O Warehouse and far beyond the right-field wall. It was only the second time in the 21-year history of Camden Yards that two balls landed on Eutaw Street in the same game; Rafael Palmeiro did it twice on April 11, 1997.
The Orioles trailed 5-4 before Wieters connected against Derek Lowe in the sixth inning. The lead vanished in the seventh, when the Indians pulled even on an RBI double by Shelley Duncan and a run-scoring double play.
Duncan entered in the fifth as a pinch runner for Lonnie Chisenhall, who fractured a bone in his right forearm after being struck by a pitch from Troy Patton.
Orioles starter Jake Arrieta gave up five runs and eight hits in 3 ⅔innings, but Baltimore’s comeback enabled him to avoid becoming the first 10-game loser in the majors this season.
Lowe allowed seven runs, four earned, in 5 ⅓innings. The right-hander has allowed seven runs in three of his past five starts and is 0-3 in that span.
Three of the first four Cleveland batters got hits in the first inning, including an RBI single by Michael Brantley.
After going six straight games without an error, Cleveland made two in the bottom half that led to three unearned runs. Brian Roberts reached on a poor throw by first baseman Casey Kotchman and scored when shortstop Cabrera mishandled an RBI grounder by J.J. Hardy. Wilson Betemit followed with a run-scoring double.
Cabrera hit his 11th home run, the second in two games, to make it 3-2 in the third.
A fielding gaffe by the Orioles fueled a three-run fourth that put Cleveland up 5-3.