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CLE@BAL: Andino hits a three-run homer in the fifth

BALTIMORE -- Not this time.

A night removed from snapping a season-high nine-game losing streak, the Orioles looked poised to fall back into the same trap that has plagued them throughout a disappointing month, falling behind three runs before picking up a bat in a Sunday afternoon contest that started with little life and an all-too-familiar short start.

But buoyed by a superb three innings from reliever Mark Hendrickson -- who exhibited a calming presence following an early Indians home run show -- and highlighted by a career-high four-RBIs from Robert Andino, Baltimore roared back for eight unanswered runs to earn an 8-3 series-splitting win over Cleveland.

The afternoon victory, in front of a crowd of 17,754 at Camden Yards, was Baltimore's second consecutive and marked the Orioles first back-to-back wins since June 19 and 20. The game featured an offensive onslaught that included four home runs for just the second time this season.

But it was Andino's three-run shot that proved to be the game-changer.

"He's one of the talented guys in here," center fielder Adam Jones said of Andino, one of the final roster decisions at Spring Training, who made his presence felt with a go-ahead fifth-inning homer. "It doesn't surprise me he did it. I'm just happy he did it."

Andino sent Indians' starter Jeanmar Gomez's 3-1 offering 362 feet, a ball that had just enough to clear the left-field fence and one that gave the Orioles all the momentum necessary to turn around an ugly beginning.

"It had been a while," Andino said of the Orioles' rally efforts which -- in addition to his first homer since April 30 -- also featured solo shots from Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters.

"Pitching kept us in the game and gave us a chance to come back. And we did."

And they did it on an unlikely arm in the veteran Hendrickson.

The well-liked lefty, who chose to not exercise the opt-out clause in his contract and accept an assignment to Triple-A, had his contract purchased Saturday and couldn't have picked a better time for his first scoreless outing.

"Mark Hendrickson kept it from snowballing," said manager Buck Showalter, who made the decision to go to the bullpen early given the struggles of starter Mitch Atkins.

"There's a reason why a guy like him has stuck around [in the Majors] for so long. We like what he brings to the club between the lines on a given night, and he gets it. He gets the reality of this game and what it's about, and realizes he doesn't let failures snowball [or change] the way he treats people or the way he competes."

Tasked with holding an early 3-0 hole, Hendrickson allowed just one hit in his longest outing of the season, giving the Orioles offense exactly the opening it needed.

And reliever Jim Johnson made sure it held, escaping a one-out bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning. Johnson came on with two men on in lieu of Michael Gonzalez, and after allowing a single he absorbed Travis Buck's liner and rebounded to cut the leadoff runner down at the plate. Johnson followed that up with a strikeout of Lonnie Chisenhall.

"There's a lot of talent in this clubhouse," Hendrickson said. "On the roadtrip -- especially the one before the break -- we obviously didn't play well, and coming out of the break, we didn't do so well in the first couple of games. Just get some momentum back, get something going, get some momentum, it's something that's good for us, and we'll just move on to Boston."

On Sunday, Atkins was the beneficiary, getting a fortunate no-decision despite a second straight abysmal outing. The 25-year-old Atkins -- who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after the game -- allowed a pair of homers two outs into the game, and lasted for just three innings of three-run baseball in a forgiving line. The Indians sent 18 men to the plate off of Atkins but only scored three runs, keeping Baltimore within striking distance. Comments