The Baltimore Orioles appeared to be headed toward a fifth straight loss until they exploded for five runs in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians.
The Orioles look to carry that momentum into Wednesday's third installment of a four-game series at Camden Yards.
Down 3-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, Adam Jones was hit by a pitch to start the frame and slugger Chris Davis tied the game with a two-run homer, his league-leading 28th of the season. Davis hit 33 homers a season ago and is batting .327 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in the past 13 games. Alexi Casilla later completed the scoring with a three-run blast.
"It was awesome," Davis said of Casilla's homer. "I think everybody's pulling for him right there, obviously trying, hoping that he'll just get a base hit. Then he does that, provided a little bit of a jolt of adrenaline for everybody."
Baltimore starter Chris Tillman rebounded from early struggles with his command to win his sixth straight decision. Tillman gave up three runs on four hits and four walks in seven innings for his ninth win (9-2).
"He doesn't give in," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There's a lot beating in there. He's a competitive guy. He holds himself to a high standard."
The Orioles are even with New York at 2 1/2 games off the AL East lead and will host the Yankees for three games this weekend.
Jason Hammel will try to follow Tillman's effort when he takes the mound Wednesday and is 0-2 in his last four starts. He has recorded back-to-back no- decisions and allowed four runs in six innings of a 7-6 loss at Toronto last Friday. He fanned seven batters in that one, but has given up 15 runs in the past four starts. Baltimore has lost each of his last four appearances.
Hammel, who is 7-4 with a 5.30 earned run average in 15 starts, hasn't achieved much success in his career against Cleveland as evidenced by an 0-3 mark in seven games (3 starts) with a 6.20 ERA. In six starts at Camden Yards this season, the right-hander is 1-3 with a 7.09 ERA.
The Indians scuffled down the stretch in their recent tilt with Baltimore and starting pitcher Justin Masterson was cruising until the seventh inning. He ended up allowing six runs, two homers and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings.
"He had a tough inning and they made him pay for it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "When you let them get their arms extended, especially in this ballpark, they're very dangerous one through nine."
Jason Kipnis hit a two-run homer in the loss for the Tribe and went deep for the first time since June 12. He has 13 RBI since then.
Cleveland, which is 3 1/2 games behind Detroit for the AL Central lead, had won nine of 12 games and is 1-1 on an 11-game road trip. The Indians hope shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera can be activated off the disabled list as soon as Wednesday and he has been sidelined since June 3 with a strained right quadriceps muscle.
"I've got to wait and see what happens. I hope that it's soon," Cabrera said Tuesday on the Tribe's website. "Maybe tomorrow or Thursday."
Cabrera is batting .254 with five homers and 25 RBI this season.
Taking the mound for the Indians Wednesday will be Scott Kazmir, who ended a three-game drought (0-2) his last time out Friday in a 5-1 victory over Minnesota. Kazmir struck out seven and did not walk a batter through seven innings of one-run ball and is 4-4 in 12 starts with a 5.37 ERA.
Kazmir has struggled on the road this season, going 0-4 in six tries, and is 5-5 with a 4.80 ERA in 15 career starts against Baltimore.
The Orioles and Indians split eight matchups a season ago.