Big start for Zach Britton tonight and a big disappointment in the first inning.
Britton allowed four runs and five hits in the opening frame against the Indians, with one walk and one strikeout. Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles had RBI singles, and Ryan Raburn delivered a two-run double.
Left fielder Nate McLouth threw out Raburn at the plate on Aviles' single to end the first, but the damage clearly was done.
The Indians sent eight batters to the plate. They also sent a message that they weren't going to roll over at home in the rubber game of this series.
Britton threw 28 pitches. Kevin Gausman was warming in the bullpen. Manager Buck Showalter looked like he was seething in the dugout.
In his six starts with the Orioles before tonight, Britton had allowed one run in the first inning, one in the second, none in the third, two in the fourth, five in the fifth and 10 in the sixth.
Britton's batting average against in innings one through five was .246 (28-for-114) before tonight and .545 (12-for-22) in the sixth and beyond. The Indians decided not to wait.
Britton struck out Carlos Santana on a 95 mph fastball with the bases loaded, his best pitch of the inning. Gomes followed with his RBI single and the Indians were in business.
Can Britton stay in this game? He struck out two while retiring the side in order in the second, and he needed only 10 pitches to do it.
We've seen both sides of Britton in only two innings. Showalter and company need the second one to stick around.
Update: Britton lasted only 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits, walking two and striking out four. He threw 54 pitches, 34 for strikes.
Gausman replaced him and struck out the next two batters.
Not the type of outing that Britton or the Orioles needed tonight.
The leash was obviously short, with Showalter going to his bullpen with two on and one out in the third.
Adam Jones homered in the fourth, his 29th of the season, to reduce Cleveland's lead to 4-1. Jones has 99 RBIs.
Update II: Not a good night for Zachs.
Manny Machado's 13th home run of the season, a three-run shot, tied the game 4-4 in the fifth.
Indians starter Zach McAllister is done after 4 2/3 innings. He couldn't hold a 4-0 lead.
J.J. Hardy doubled in the fifth, giving him six hits in his last 12 at-bats. Brian Roberts walked to keep the rally alive, and Machado unloaded.
Machado extended his hitting streak to eight games. He's 11-for-33, with two doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and five runs.
Update III: The Indians scored twice off Gausman in the fifth to take a 6-4 lead.
Gomes had an RBI double - who is this guy? - and another run scored on a wild pitch.
Gausman was charged with two runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings, with two walks and three strikeouts.
Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in the sixth.