Orioles lead and Britton vanish in sixth (O’s lose 5-2)

Orioles left-hander Zach Britton was headed toward a quality start. Now he’s headed for the showers.

Britton took a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning and didn’t retire a batter. The fifth Indians hitter, Michael Brantley, singled past Britton into center field to score two runs and give Cleveland a 3-2 lead.

Tommy Hunter stranded two inherited runners by retiring the next three batters.

Britton is charged with three runs and six hits in five-plus innings, with three walks, five strikeouts and a hit batter. He threw 96 pitches, 56 for strikes.

Does tonight’s outing warrant another start?

Britton has allowed four runs and 11 hits over 10 1/3 innings in two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.

The Indians cut the lead to 2-1 on Nick Swisher’s RBI single and loaded the bases with no outs for Brantley. Britton couldn’t glove the ball as he hopped past him into center field to score two runs.

Hunter limited the damage by getting a strikeout and two fly balls. He’s stranded 12 of 14 inherited runners this season.

Former Orioles left-hander Rich Hill has replaced Ubaldo Jimenez with one on and one out in the sixth. Matt Albers also is in the Indians’ bullpen.

It’s like a reunion here.

Tonight’s attendance: 18,544

Update: Hunter tossed a scoreless seventh inning, walking Swisher with two outs.

Down on the farm, Nolan Reimold went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts tonight with Double-A Bowie. He’s now 2-for-25 with three RBIs and 10 strikeouts.

Mike Wright allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings, with one walk, eight strikeouts, a wild pitch and a hit batter.

Update II: Darren O’Day faced two batters in the eighth and gave up a single to Mark Reynolds and a two-run homer to Brantley that increased the Indians lead to 5-2.

Brantley has tied his career high with four RBIs.

O’Day has served up home runs in back-to-back outings after going 12 straight without one.

Update II: Game over. The Indians defeat the Orioles 5-2.

The Orioles have lost four games in a row and are 42-35 on the season. They’re now tied with the Yankees for second place in the American League East, 2 1/2 games behind the Red Sox.

Flaherty walked with two outs in the ninth and Nate McLouth singled to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Manny Machado lined out to short.

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