BALTIMORE (AP) After leading by seven runs in the second inning, the Baltimore Orioles still ended up in a familiar position - relying on Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista to close out the game from out of the bullpen.
Those two were up to the task, and Baltimore held on for an 8-5 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday night. Anthony Santander hit a bases-clearing triple during Baltimore's five-run second, then added a pair of doubles - but the late innings were a little more stressful than manager Brandon Hyde would have liked.
“It's a major league baseball game. Anything can happen," Hyde said. “You try to add on. We didn't really do that. You try to hold on, and we didn't do that very well there the sixth and seventh.”
Kyle Gibson (7-3) won his third straight start, allowing three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Baltimore led 8-1 at the start of the sixth but nevertheless had to use its top relievers.
It was 8-5 with the tying run batting when Cano got the third out of the seventh. Then he allowed two straight singles to start the eighth, again bringing up the tying run, but the Guardians squandered the chance.
Bautista pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 18 chances.
The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the first when right fielder Will Brennan misplayed Gunnar Henderson's two-out line drive. The ball went over Brennan's head after he stepped the wrong way initially, and Henderson had a two-run double.
Brennan's day didn't get any better in the second. After Adley Rutschman's bases-loaded walk made it 3-0, Santander followed by pulling a 3-2 pitch down the line in right for extra bases. All three runners scored, and Brennan overran the ball when it caromed off the wall. Santander made it to third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Austin Hays.
Josh Bell hit an RBI single in the fourth for Cleveland. Santander doubled in the fifth and scored on Henderson's single, which chased Guardians starter Cal Quantrill (2-4).
Bell hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Andrés Giménez followed with an RBI double. Josh Naylor hit a two-run single in the seventh to make it 8-5.
The Orioles loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, but Henderson bounced into a 4-2-3 double play and Baltimore didn't score.
Baltimore put center fielder Cedric Mullins (strained right groin) on the 10-day injured list and signed outfielder Aaron Hicks. The Orioles did not use Hicks in this game. Hays started in center.
There was some confusion in the ninth when Ryan McKenna entered as a defensive replacement. The intention was for McKenna to go to center and Hays to move over to left, but instead McKenna went to left. The two eventually switched places before the final out.
Hyde said Bautista's dramatic closer entrance made it harder to get everyone on the same page.
“That was a miscommunication from the start of the inning," he said. "With the light show and the noise and then the pitch clock, we didn't want to get two guys sprinting, counting the seconds down. That was unfortunate. I hated the way that looked, honestly."
Guardians: Manager Terry Francona said RHP Aaron Civale (left oblique strain) will pitch Friday at Minnesota. ... RHP Triston McKenzie (right teres major strain) pitched Tuesday night for Triple-A Columbus and is expected to meet the big league club in Minnesota.
Shane Bieber (4-3) takes the mound for the Guardians in the series finale Wednesday. Austin Voth (1-1) is expected to pitch for Baltimore, although the Orioles may use an opener before him.
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