BALTIMORE — Andy Marte hit a two-run homer on a 3-2 pitch from Jim Johnson with two outs in the ninth inning, giving the Cleveland Indians a 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
Johnson (3-5) got the first two outs in the ninth before allowing a single to Matt LaPorta. After going 3-0 on Marte, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, Johnson worked the count full before Marte hit a liner that barely cleared the 7-foot wall in left field.
It was his second home run in 69 at-bats this season.
Johnson, who took over as Baltimore's closer after George Sherrill was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 30, had been 4 for 4 in save opportunities.
Rafael Perez (3-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings of one-hit relief and Kerry Wood got three outs for his 17th save. Baltimore had runners on the corners with two outs in the ninth before Nick Markakis struck out on a checked swing.
Grady Sizemore homered and Shin-Soo Choo had three hits for the Indians, who trailed 4-2 in the seventh. Cleveland has won 15 of 25 and is 22-16 since the All-Star break.
Melvin Mora and Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles, now 44-3 when leading after eight innings. Mora singled and scored the tiebreaking run in the sixth on a double by Luke Scott, and Wieters hit his fifth homer in the seventh to put Baltimore up 4-2.
The Indians got within a run in the eighth when Sizemore singled and scored on a two-out double by Choo.
Cleveland starter Aaron Laffey allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in 5 2-3 innings — ending a run of six straight games in which Indians starters went at least six innings. Laffey was 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts in August.
Sizemore put the Indians up 1-0 with his 21st career leadoff homer, a drive to center on the fourth pitch of the game by rookie David Hernandez. Mora led off the second with his fifth home run, ending a 3-for-25 skid that began after his last homer, on Aug. 17.
Cleveland went up 2-1 in the fifth when Marte tripled and scored on a groundout by Sizemore. Baltimore used two walks and throwing error by second baseman Luis Valbuena to pull even in the bottom half.
NOTES: It was the first meeting between the teams since Sept. 27. ... The Orioles were without CF Adam Jones, who missed a fourth straight game with back spasms. ... Choo was 17 for 18 in stolen base attempts before being nailed by Wieters in the sixth.