Cleveland rallies to beat Orioles in homestand opener

The Orioles’ slim early lead didn’t last, but the losing streak is still here.

Trailing 2-0 after five innings, the Cleveland Indians rallied to beat the Orioles 5-2 tonight as the Orioles’ losing streak reached four games in the opener of a four-game series and seven-game homestand.

Zach Britton seemed to be rolling along with a two-hit shutout and a 2-0 lead into the top of the sixth. But five batters later, Cleveland had a 3-2 lead and Britton was being pulled for Tommy Hunter.

After Jason Kipnis led off with a double, a Nick Swisher RBI single cut the O’s lead to 2-1. A double and intentional walk followed to load the bases. A two-run single to center by Michael Brantley gave the Indians the lead.

Britton went five innings plus five batters, allowing six hits and three runs with three walks and five strikeouts. He threw 96 pitches and falls to 1-2 with an ERA of 5.51 over three O’s starts.

For the sixth time in seven games, the O’s did not get a quality start tonight. The rotation ERA is 6.56 in that stretch.

Solo homers in the first inning by Nick Markakis (his eighth) and in the fourth by Matt Wieters (his 10th) had given the Orioles the 2-0 lead. For Markakis, it was his first homer since May 31. Wieters had been 5-for-37 over his last 10 games and with just three RBIs over his last 14 games.

The homers did extend to 12 straight games the Orioles’ streak with at least one homer, their longest streak of the year and they’ve hit 20 homers in those 12 games.

Cleveland turned a one-run lead into a 5-2 edge when Brantley hit a two-run homer off Darren O’Day in the top of the eighth. Brantley’s four-RBI night tied his career high.

O’Day has allowed homers in back-to-back games after giving up just two in his first 33 1/3 innings on the season.

Cleveland improved to 39-36 and won for the ninth time in the last 12 games.

The Orioles fall to 20-16 at home, 9-7 vs. the AL Central, 11-11 in June and 42-35 on the season.

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