BALTIMORE — Since the Cleveland Indians are not getting paid extra to work overtime, they’ll happily take a victory for their effort.
Pressed into extra innings for the third time in four games, the Indians got a two-run double from Carlos Santana in the 13th and escaped with an 8-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
Cleveland has won four straight, matching a season high, in part because of its ability to persevere. After beating Detroit in 10 innings on Monday, the Indians went 13 against the Tigers on Wednesday before again prevailing in the lucky 13th against Baltimore.
“(Wednesday) was thrilling but you put it in the rear view mirror as fast as you can,” manager Terry Francona said. “Tonight was in a lot of ways similar. We had to really dig deep. We made some mistakes but we outplayed them. As a result, we have a tired group — but you feel a heck of a lot better when you win.”
According to Stats LLC, the only other time since 1912 that Cleveland won successive games of at least 13 innings was in April 1935.
“It’s a good feeling when you fight so hard and win like this,” Francona said.
The Indians are the first team since the 2010 Angels to play two straight games of at least 13 innings, and it was the first time since 2003 that Cleveland played consecutive 13-inning games.
After two hits and a walk loaded the bases in the 13th, Santana came to the plate against Troy Patton (0-1) with a .148 batting average. He pulled a sharp grounder inside the third base line, only his third hit in 32 at-bats with two outs and runners on.
Josh Outman (4-0) pitched two scoreless innings and Scott Atchison got three outs for his first save, despite giving up a solo home run to Nick Markakis.
Ryan Flaherty also homered for Baltimore and Adam Jones had three hits.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado left after 11 innings with right groin stiffness.
“It didn’t really bother me hitting or fielding,” he said. “It was more of a stiffness every time I started running or that first step. And it just kept getting worse.”
Machado, who didn’t begin play this season until May 1 after undergoing offseason knee surgery, hopes to return to the lineup today.
“Sleep on it and just keep working on it and hopefully we will know something better (today) of how I feel,” he said.
Baltimore used a five-run sixth inning to erase a 3-0 deficit, and after the Indians pulled even in the seventh the Orioles scored the go-ahead run in the bottom half without benefit of a hit.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera fumbled Machado’s sharp grounder and Jones followed with a bouncer to third. Santana threw wildly to second base trying to start a double play, leaving runners on second and third with one out. After Mark Lowe issued an intentional walk to Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-5.
Lonnie Chisenhall answered in the eighth with a pinch-hit homer off Darren O’Day to make it 6-all. It was Chisenhall’s second home run of the season, both in the last two games.
Much earlier, Indians starter Justin Masterson induced three double plays over the first five innings while being pressed into action on three days rest.
In the Baltimore sixth, after Steve Clevenger and J.J. Hardy delivered two-out RBI singles, Flaherty hit a 2-1 pitch over the 25-foot scoreboard in right field to make it 5-3.
The advantage vanished in the seventh. With one out, Flaherty fumbled a potential double-play grounder to second base, getting an out at first that resulted in an RBI for David Murphy. Mike Aviles then chased Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen with a tying single.
Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half, but it would not last in this back-and-forth duel.
“I know guys will be in the ice tubs and will sleep well tonight,” Chisenhall said.