CLEVELAND, JULY 30 -- They hit three home runs, they got a decent performance from Mike Flanagan and they turned a two-run lead over to their bullpen in the seventh inning.
And then another one slipped away from the Baltimore Orioles.
Cory Snyder's two-run homer off reliever Mark Williamson in the last of the 10th inning gave the Indians a 6-4 victory before 7,865 at Cleveland Stadium.
The loss was the second in three nights here for the Orioles, and both can be hung on the bullpen. Williamson (5-7) got the loss on a hanging slider to Snyder, but he should share it with Doug Corbett, who yielded a game-tying homer to Brook Jacoby in the eighth.
Jacoby's two-run shot marked the 15th time Baltimore's bullpen lost a lead in the seventh inning or later. The Orioles ended up losing nine of those games, the difference between their 46-56 record and 55-47.
"Deep down in our hearts, we feel we should have swept this series," Flanagan said. "It's a shame. We let a couple get away that shouldn't have."
The manager was more philosophical, but clearly upset. "I don't like to let these slip away," Cal Ripken Sr. said. "We've got to hold on to games like this. The bullpen has been pitching well, but they're going to have some bad days, too."
Their timing couldn't have been worse. Flanagan continued his resurgence by allowing two runs and six hits in six innings, leaving after 86 pitches on a muggy, 85-degree evening. In three starts since his nine-week stay on the disabled list, he has a 2.89 earned run average.
" . . . I felt sluggish from the beginning," Flanagan said. "I did have a good curveball, so I just went with it."
Although he didn't get the victory he deserved, he did deliver some more good news to the Orioles.
"I feel I'm locked in a good groove," he said. "I've had roughly the same stuff every time out, and I'll probably have it the next time out, too."
Before the bullpen went to work, the Orioles had gotten home runs from Floyd Rayford, Eddie Murray and Ray Knight in the first six innings for that 4-2 lead. All came off Steve Carlton, who worked 6 1/3 innings.
Flanagan left after six innings because "he was just out of juice," Ripken Sr. said. "It was uncomfortable out there, and he gave us all he had."
Corbett got through the seventh, but Joe Carter led off the eighth with a bunt single, and Jacoby followed with a homer to center, his 21st, tops among American League third basemen.
"I'm fuming," Corbett said. "I threw him a poor pitch in a crucial situation. It was just a cookie. I thought they had a hit-and-run on, and I wanted to bury it on his fists. I just left it out too far."
Williamson entered the game in the ninth and got Carter on a grounder to end a threat. Then, in the 10th, Carmen Castillo led off with a single to left, and Williamson grooved a pitch to Snyder.
"Rayford called for a slider, and I thought, 'Why not?' " Williamson said. "He'd been fishing all night. I just left it in the middle of the plate."
Snyder said, "I'd been struggling lately . . . I knew it was gone when I hit it."
The victory was the second in three nights for former Orioles reliever Sammy Stewart (4-1), who came on to strike out Mike Young, ending the 10th. Stewart's brief stint was preceded by Doug Jones' 3 1/3 shutout innings.
"I feel I'm the stopper now," Stewart said. "It's a different situation for me, but I'm enjoying it. I'm throwing the ball good and my arm feels good."
Rayford got the Orioles going. His only homer this season had been off Carlton (April 19 in Baltimore), and he got him again tonight with an upper-deck shot in the fifth inning for a 1-0 lead. It was the 400th homer Carlton had allowed in his career, but Nos. 401 and 402 would soon follow.
The lead didn't last long because in the last of the fifth a misplay by left fielder Young helped the Indians to two runs and a 2-1 lead.
With one out, Jay Bell hit a fly to left. Young got back to the wall, stuck his glove up but failed to make the catch. The ball ticked off his glove, off the top of the fence and landed back on the field as Bell legged out a triple. Andy Allanson's fly scored him for a 1-1 tie.
Flanagan walked Brett Butler, who went to second on Tommy Hinzo's single and scored on a single by Pat Tabler. With runners on first and third, though, Flanagan got Carter on a fly to center, and the Orioles came back to score three runs in the sixth.
Carlton walked Bill Ripken with one out, and Cal Ripken Jr. forced him. Carlton then threw Murray three straight balls and one fastball down the middle, which Murray lined over the left field wall for a 3-2 lead. Knight followed with his first homer since June 24 to make it 4-2.
Don Aase underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder today in Inglewood, Calif. Doctors say he'll be able to start a throwing program in late December or early January and should be ready for spring training. Dr. Lewis Yocum found damaged and loose cartilage, which he shaved and trimmed. Aase was released from the hospital today . . .
Lee Lacy, a .372 career hitter against Carlton, took himself out of the lineup tonight, saying he was still suffering from a sore right thigh. That left the Orioles with only three nonpitchers on the bench.