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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Indians Saved by Baltimore Bullpen

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- This was a game the Baltimore Orioles were supposed to lose. They got only three innings out of their fifth starter, Mike Johnson, and they were facing Cleveland's best pitcher, Charles Nagy.

But the Orioles weren't supposed to lose it this way, with a dreadful outing by one of the relievers who has made the bullpen one of the team's strengths this season.

Terry Mathews issued two bases-loaded walks and threw a wild pitch that allowed another run to score. The Indians' three runs in the sixth inning broke a tie and the Orioles' ninth-inning rally fell just short in a 7-6 loss before 42,944 spectators on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Jacobs Field.

The Orioles (31-15) got homeruns from B.J. Surhoff and Rafael Palmeiro and overcame deficits of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3. But their pitchers allowed nine walks. Mathews faced five batters in his first appearance in eight days and didn't retire any of them, giving up a hit and four walks.

"It's a lack of throwing," Mathews said. "Our starters are doing so well that the guys out in the bullpen don't get the work. It's a hard thing to complain about.''

The Indians (25-21) beat the Orioles for the second time in three days here.

David Justice and Sandy Alomar each had a homer and two RBI for Cleveland. Nagy (6-2) gave up six hits and four runs, three earned, over seven innings.

The Orioles trailed, 7-4, entering the ninth inning but loaded the bases with one out against reliever Mike Jackson.

Brady Anderson hit a two-run double, and the Indians intentionally walked Roberto Alomar to load the bases. But Jackson struck out Eric Davis, now hitless in his past 16 at-bats, and Al Morman struck out Palmeiro. Game over.

Johnson allowed three runs on six hits and three walks in three innings in his second big league start. He has lasted only seven innings in those two starts, letting up seven runs.

He was in trouble from the moment he took the mound. The Indians got a first-inning run on a walk to Julio Franco and base hits by Jim Thome and Justice.

Sandy Alomar drilled Johnson's second pitch of the second inning over the left field fence for his 10th homer of the year and a 2-0 Cleveland lead. The Orioles evened it at 2 in the third.

Justice answered Surhoff's home run in the fifth with one of his own. Palmeiro's leadoff homer in the sixth got the Orioles even again, this time at 4. But Baltimore's bullpen unraveled after Rhodes (2-2) retired the first two Cleveland batters in the sixth.

(For other results, see Scorecard.)