Talk about a ninth-inning meltdown.
After getting out of jam after jam for eight innings, the O’s pitching staff, living on the edge, toppled over the edge in the top of the ninth.
Alfredo Simon, who had been five for five in save chances, came on to try and preserve a 2-0 win for Brian Matusz.
With one out, he gave up a single, walk and RBI single to Shin-Soo Choo to cut the O’s lead to 2-1. Then he made a huge mistake, serving up a fat 0-2 pitch that Austin Kearns hit out to left for a three-run shot and 4-2 Tribe lead. His third homer of the year traveled 415 feet.
Cla Meredith could not stop the scoring as Mike Redmond added a two-run double and Trevor Crowd added a two-run homer as the Tribe posted a 8-2 win after stranding 11 runners on base over the first eight innings. The Orioles are now 9-4 when leading after eight innings and Cleveland is 1-16 when trailing after eight.
Cleveland scored eight runs in the 9th after scoring one run in the first 17 innings of this series.
It created flashbacks to the first few weeks of the O’s season.
The explosion in the ninth wasted seven scoreless innings from Matusz and two solo homers from Ty Wigginton. The O’s were seeking a season-high, four-game win streak, but instead the series is now tied at one win each.