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Indians rally past Orioles 4-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 26, 2013 at 11:12 pm •  Published: June 26, 2013
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BALTIMORE (AP) — Dealing with the powerful Baltimore Orioles lineup was easy for Scott Kazmir compared to keeping his aching back in working order.

Kazmir took a no-hitter into the seventh, and by the start of the eighth inning he could pitch no longer. After he left, Cleveland quickly fell behind.

Fortunately for the Indians, they scored two ninth-inning runs off Jim Johnson to pull out a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.

A leadoff double in the seventh by Manny Machado was the only hit allowed by Kazmir, who gave up one unearned run and one walk in seven innings. He came out to the mound for the eighth but left with back spasms before throwing a pitch.

"He was fighting them for probably three innings," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

It was a tough way for Kazmir to end a night in which he pitched magnificently.

"It's something that's just more frustrating and irritating than anything," the left-hander said. "The start of the third inning, it seemed like it started tightening up quite a bit. The later innings it got a lot harder."

Kazmir was perfect for four innings and retired 18 of the first 19 Baltimore batters. After Machado singled in the seventh, a wild pickoff attempt by Kazmir preceded a sacrifice fly by Chris Davis.

And then, in the eighth, he was gone. Baltimore promptly scored twice against Joe Smith (4-0) to take a 3-2 lead, but the Indians rallied against Johnson (2-6) in the ninth.

After Michael Brantley drew a leadoff walk, Jason Giambi hit his 400th career double. An intentional walk loaded the bases for Lonnie Chisenhall, who hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice. Drew Stubbs also hit into a fielder's choice to bring home pinch-runner Mike Aviles and chase Johnson.

"I leave a ball up to Giambi on the next pitch after the four-pitch walk," Johnson said. "Now you've got second and third and you have to walk the next guy. So you have bases loaded and nobody out. It doesn't get much worse. At that point, I'm trying to limit the damage, I'm trying to worry about each individual pitch. I came real close to keeping it tied. But obviously I dug myself my own hole."

Vinnie Pestano worked the ninth for his fifth save.

"This was one of those games where it would've been just a killer loss and ends up being a great win," Francona said.

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