BALTIMORE -- Given their play of late, the Baltimore Orioles couldn't possibly have expected to come out on the winning end of a high-scoring, back-and-forth duel.
With some late-inning heroics, the Orioles did just that.
Ryan Flaherty singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh, Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer, and the Orioles broke out of their offensive funk with a 9-8 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
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On a steamy night in which temperatures reached 100 degrees, both teams worked up a sweat circling the bases. Cleveland had a season-high 16 hits, but the Orioles scored just enough runs to secure their third win in 10 games.
"It was a battle," Wieters said. "We haven't been able to come out on top of those, and we really worked to get that win."
The defeat was costly for the Indians, and not just because they fell 3 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central. Cleveland lost third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall for 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his right forearm. The injury occurred when he was hit by a pitch by Baltimore reliever Troy Patton.
"I had a bad feeling about it," manager Manny Acta said. "It's bad news for us, especially a young kid like him. It's always tough seeing a young guy getting his feet wet, getting better and then all of a sudden, an injury like that."
Xavier Avery hit his first major league homer in the eighth to make it 9-7.
"When I looked up and I saw it go out, I just started smiling," he said.
The Orioles went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position after going 3 for 52 in that situation over their previous 10 games. It was the first time in 11 games that Baltimore scored more than three runs.
"I was so proud of the guys tonight. They just kept grinding," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They were not going to be denied."
Wieters and Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians both homered onto Eutaw Street, located in front of the B&O Warehouse and far beyond the right-field wall. It was only the second time in the 21-year history of Camden Yards that two balls landed on Eutaw Street in the same game; Rafael Palmeiro did it twice on April 11, 1997.
The Orioles trailed 5-4 before Wieters connected against Derek Lowe in the sixth inning. The lead vanished in the seventh, when the Indians pulled even on an RBI double by Shelley Duncan and a run-scoring double play.
Duncan entered in the fifth as a pinch runner for Chisenhall.
Orioles starter Jake Arrieta gave up five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, but Baltimore's comeback enabled him to avoid becoming the first 10-game loser in the majors this season.
Lowe allowed seven runs, four earned, in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander has allowed seven runs in three of his past five starts and is 0-3 in that span.
Three of the first four Cleveland batters got hits in the first inning, including an RBI single by Michael Brantley.
After going six straight games without an error, Cleveland made two in the bottom half that led to three unearned runs. Brian Roberts reached on a poor throw by first baseman Casey Kotchman and scored when shortstop Cabrera mishandled an RBI grounder by J.J. Hardy. Wilson Betemit followed with a run-scoring double.
Cabrera hit his 11th home run, the second in two games, to make it 3-2 in the third.
A fielding gaffe by the Orioles fueled a three-run fourth that put Cleveland up 5-3. After Kotchman hit a leadoff single, Flaherty backed away from a fly ball to right-center hit by Chisenhall, thinking center fielder Adam Jones would make the catch. The ball dropped between the two for a single, setting the stage for a bases-loaded walk to Shin-Soo Choo and a two-run single by Jason Kipnis that ended Arrieta's night.
"I got our starter knocked out in the fourth inning because of that," Flaherty said. "Fortunately, we were able to rally around it and come back from it, but still that's not winning baseball."
Baltimore closed to 5-4 in the fifth when Robert Andino walked, stole second and scored on a groundout by Avery.
- Roberts snapped a 0-for-16 skid with a second-inning single. He also scored for the first time in 12 games.
- Patton's run of seven straight scoreless outings ended.
- Acta said C Carlos Santana (sore back) will likely be held out of the lineup until Sunday and will return as a DH. Santana hasn't played since Wednesday.
- Betemit had his fifth straight multihit game.
- Dana Eveland will start for Baltimore on Saturday against Josh Tomlin, who's 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA this month.