The Orioles needed a good starting pitching effort in the worst way and got one tonight from Alfredo Simon. They also needed a win in the worst way and got one as well.
Nick Markakis hit a solo homer in the last of the sixth to break a 2-2 tie as the Orioles beat Cleveland 6-5 in front of 24,835 at Camden Yards to end a nine-game losing streak.
Markakis added two doubles for a three extra-base hit game after not having an extra-base hit during his previous nine games. Markakis is batting .297 on the year and .400 over his past 32 games.
The Orioles took a 6-2 lead to the ninth, but Kevin Gregg walked the bases loaded with one out and a Orlando Cabrera three-run double made it a one-run game. Michael Gonzalez then came on and got Grady Sizemore to ground out and end the game, picking up his first save of the year.
Simon gave the Orioles just their second seven-inning outing from a starting pitcher in the last 30 games. He gave up just three hits and two runs, with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 79 pitches, 56 for strikes.
He retired the side in order the first three innings on just 30 pitches and needed just 51 pitches to get through five. He gave up a two-run double to Michael Brantley in the sixth as Cleveland tied the game 2-2.
Simon's outing followed a stretch where Orioles starters had pitched to an ERA of 9.60 over the previous 18 games and 7.71 in the last 29 games.
Simon improved to 2-2 with an ERA of 4.36.
Earlier, the O's got a sac fly by Adam Jones in the first that scored J.J Hardy after a double. A Derrek Lee RBI single in the fourth scored Markakis, who had doubled, for a 2-0 lead. Jones doubled in Markakis in the last of the eighth for his second RBI of the game and 54th on the year which gave the O's a 4-2 lead. Felix Pie's two-run double a few batters later made it a 6-2 game.
The Orioles avoided their first 1--game losing streak since May 26-June 5 of last year.
They picked up their first win since beating Atlanta on the road July 3 and are 37-54 on the year and 23-24 at home. They pick up their first win of the year against Cleveland after an 0-5 start.