CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The way Justin Masterson was throwing through the first five innings, three runs looked more than enough. Then the bottom dropped out, and by the time it was over, the high-powered Orioles offense had done its damage.
Led by a homer by AL leader in that department Chris Davis that tied the game at three in the seventh, and then a back breaking three-run blast by Alexi Casilla in the same inning, the Indians fell to the O’s Tuesday night 6-3 at Camden Yards.
The setback drops the Indians to 39-37, and Masterson to 9-6 on the year after it looked like he was cruise control for his 10th win of the 2013 campaign.
Jason Kipnis’ two-run homer gave Masty a 3-0 lead to work with in the 5th inning, and to that point the Indians sinker pitcher had shut down the Orioles with no damage.
Then Baltimore got a run back when they had runners on first and third with one out, and J.J. Hardy hit into a fielder’s choice to make it a 3-1 game.
The Indians offense did nothing in the 6th or 7th, and with Masterson still in control, the Orioles offense finally got going, sending him to the showers with a tough to swallow loss.
Masterson hit Adam Jones, then Davis blasted his AL leading 28th homer of the season to tie the game at three. The Tribe ace was rattled, and a walk, line out and then single set the stage for Casilla.
Casilla slammed his first homer of the season to deep right, the number nine hitter bringing in three runs that was the difference in the tough loss.
Chris Tillman got the win for the O’s to improve to 9-2 on the season, and Jim Johnson got his 27th save of the season with a 9th inning in which the Indians got runners on, but couldn’t score.
Masterson, who was perfect through four innings, ended up allowing six runs and six hits in 6.1 innings to take the loss.
It was Casilla’s first home run since August 8, 2012 — also off Masterson. That was enough to end a four-game skid in which Baltimore lost three games to Toronto and another to Cleveland by a combined 29-15 score.
The Tribe used a single, two walks and a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley to go up 1-0 in the first inning.
In the second, the Indians put runners at the corners with no outs but could not score. After allowing six of the first 12 Cleveland batters to reach base, Tillman retired the next six in a row.
The streak ended in the fifth inning, when Michael Bourn led off with a double and Kipnis hit a 3-1 pitch into the left-field seats.
The same two teams do battle on Wednesday night in Baltimore, as Scott Kazmir goes for the Indians vs Jason Hammel for Baltimore at 7:05pm.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story)