BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles thought they were done worrying about Manny Machado after he finally returned from offseason knee surgery on May 1. Now they’ve got another reason to be concerned.
Machado left Thursday night’s 8-7, 13-inning loss to the Cleveland Indians with right groin stiffness, and manager Buck Showalter can only hope he got the All-Star third baseman out of the game before the injury had a chance to become serious.
Pulled after the 11th inning, Machado said afterward, “It didn’t really bother me hitting or fielding. It was more of a stiffness every time I started running, or that first step. And it just kept getting worse.”
Showalter noticed that Machado appeared uncomfortable, asked him about it and promptly removed him from the game.
“I thought it would be good to exercise a little caution there and see where we are (Friday),” Showalter said. “Sometimes, especially with young players, you just want to take it out of their hands.”
Machado held out hope that he could return before the weekend.
“See how it feels (Friday) and hopefully get back in the lineup,” he said.
After two hits and a walk loaded the bases in the 13th, Carlos 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 for a two-run double, 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.
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 past 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 game-tying single.
Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half, but it would not last in this back-and-forth duel.
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.
NOTES: Baltimore has 12 or more hits in four straight games for the first time since April 2007. … The Indians placed starter Zach McAllister (lower back strain) on the 15-day DL and recalled rookie T.J. House from Triple-A Columbus. House will make his first major league start Friday night against the Orioles, who will send Bud Norris to the mound. … Baltimore placed RHP Tommy Hunter (groin strain) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Preston Guilmet. … Chris Davis will likely be out Sunday and Monday on paternity leave while doctors induce labor on the first baseman’s wife, Showalter said. … Jones has reached safely in 16 straight games. … Baltimore’s Zach Britton blanked Cleveland in the ninth and 10th innings, his 10th consecutive scoreless outing.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)