CLEVELAND, JULY 28 -- The latest ending for the Baltimore Orioles was written by Pat Tabler, who singled home rookie Tommy Hinzo with two outs in the 10th inning to give the Cleveland Indians a 4-3 victory tonight before 12,250 at Cleveland Stadium.

Tabler's hit handed the Orioles a second straight loss, this after an 11-game winning streak. The loss ended Baltimore's seven-game road winning streak and dropped it to 10 games under .500 (45-55).

Yet long before the actual ending, the Orioles wrote their demise by leaving 11 runners on base, six in scoring postion; by blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning and by trying to squeeze a third inning out of short reliever Tom Niedenfuer.

"We had some opportunities," Manager Cal Ripken Sr. said, understating the matter.

"A ground ball on one side of the infield and a ground ball on the other side beat me," Niedenfuer (2-3) said.

Tabler's hit put a disappointing end to what might have been a very good night for the Orioles, who got seven strong innings from starter Scott McGregor.

McGregor, pitching in place of the injured Mike Boddicker and making his first appearance since June 18, allowed eight hits and two earned runs and walked only one to show the Orioles that his career obituary might yet be premature.

McGregor allowed one run on a homer by Carmen Castillo and another on a balk, but thanks to homers by Jim Dwyer and Cal Ripken Jr. had a chance to win for the first time since May 16.

It appeared that he would when Ripken Sr. turned the game over to Niedenfuer in the eighth. Niedenfuer entered the game with a victory and three saves in his last four appearances and struck out three of the first four Indians he faced.

But with one out in the ninth, Brook Jacoby tripled to right-center and scored on Castillo's sacrifice fly to right for a 3-3 tie.

Then, with two outs in the 10th, Hinzo grounded a two-strike fastball into right for a single. Hinzo was promoted to the big leagues two weeks ago after stealing 60 bases in the minors. Tonight, he got his first steal in the majors, then scored on Tabler's hit.

"We knew he was going to run," Ripken Sr. said. "Terry {Kennedy} had some trouble getting the ball out of his glove, but I don't know if he could have thrown him out, anyway."

From the beginning, the Orioles have wanted to make Niedenfuer their short reliever, especially with Don Aase out for the season. However, Ripken Sr. several times defended his decision to leave Niedenfuer in the game, saying, "His stuff was just as good the third inning as the first."

Niedenfuer agreed, saying, "I was throwing good. I wouldn't want to go out for three innings all year, but I was fine. I had a pitch to Jacoby that could have been strike three, but we didn't get {the call}. Then he hit it one way when we were playing him the other. It was the same thing in the 10th. A couple of ground balls went through."

The game had a better beginning for the Orioles. Castillo's seventh homer gave the Indians a 1-0 lead, but Dwyer's 10th tied it, 1-1, in the third. The Indians took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Tabler's triple and McGregor's balk.

"They said I moved my hands after I went into the set position," McGregor said. "I didn't think I did, but that was their opinion. I was in a groove, expecting Terry to call one pitch, and when he called another, I might have flinched. That's happened before."

Then in the fifth, the Brothers Ripken gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead when Bill singled with one out and scored on Cal Jr.'s 19th homer.

It looked as if McGregor would make it stand up. He breezed through the fifth and sixth innings and left two runners on in the seventh. After that inning, Ripken Sr. asked him how he was feeling.

"I told him I was fine," McGregor said. "Then I got to thinking about it and wondered if I should go back out there when the bullpen was rested. I haven't pitched into the eighth in a long while."

As he was shutting down the Indians, the Orioles were missing all kinds of chances, leaving runners in scoring position in the first, fourth, sixth and seventh innings. Their best chance was in the seventh when they had runners at first and third with none out and on second and third with one out.

But Doug Jones, pitching in relief of starter Darrel Akerfelds, got Ray Knight and Terry Kennedy on soft infield grounders.

After that, the Orioles had only one more base runner, and former Oriole Sammy Stewart (3-1) pitched the ninth and 10th for the victory.