Cleveland was forced to use seven relievers after Masterson left the game.
Meanwhile, Orioles right-hander Bud Norris held the Indians to four hits over seven innings to earn his career-high 10th win of the season, holding Cleveland scoreless in his first six innings.
The Orioles’ bats were alive Monday, and after Baltimore scored just 13 runs in the first five games of its road trip, it has scored 14 in the past two contests.
Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth drove in three runs, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning against a Cleveland bullpen that is already taxed one game into the series. And catcher Matt Wieters capped a four-hit day with a two-run homer in the ninth to punctuate the win.
With the win, the Orioles (73-63) are 2½ games out of the second AL wild-card spot with the Tampa Bay Rays playing at Anaheim later Monday. The Yankees’ 9-1 win over Chicago left the Orioles a half-game up over New York, but the Orioles are 1½ games ahead of Cleveland (72-65) in the wild-card race.
After Masterson left the game, the Orioles scored three runs in the second inning — and could have done more damage had Nick Markakis not been called out on a controversial appeal at second base.
Masterson left the game with a 1-0 count to Markakis — just 25 pitches into his outing — after allowing a leadoff single to Wieters. Markakis singled off Preston Guilmet, and McLouth followed with a run-scoring double that hit off the bottom of the right-center field wall.
Markakis, who went to third on the hit, was called out after an appeal at second as the umpires ruled that he retreated toward first without touching second. The double was taken away from McLouth, and instead he was given a fielder’s choice on the play.
Two batters later, the Orioles went up 3-0 on Brian Roberts’s two-out, two-run double into the right-center gap.
McLouth put the Orioles up 5-0 on his 10th homer of the season, a two-run shot off left-hander Nick Hagadone on a 2-1 pitch.
Norris allowed just two base runners over his first five innings and ended up tying a season-high with eight strikeouts. He worked ahead of the Indians often, especially late, throwing 17 of 26 first-pitch strikes.
He faced runners at first and second in the second inning but struck out Jason Giambi and picked off Michael Brantley at second base to end the inning.
Norris (10-10) went on to retire 10 straight after that before Lonnie Chisenhall’s leadoff double in the sixth, but Norris retired the next three Cleveland batters to end that inning.
Jason Kipnis’s solo homer to lead off the seventh was Norris’s only blemish on the day. Over his past two starts, Norris has allowed two runs over 122
3 innings and has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his seven starts since joining the Orioles in a trade with Houston on July 31.
— Baltimore Sun