CLEVELAND, JUNE 21 -- Too many runners left on base, too small a strike zone, too few victories. They all added up tonight for Baltimore Orioles Manager Frank Robinson, who was ejected two pitches before Tom Brookens's bases-loaded single off Tim Hulett's glove at third base with two out in the 10th inning put the Orioles out of their misery with a 4-3 loss to the Indians at Cleveland Stadium.

"We shouldn't have even been out there," said Robinson, whose club lost for the seventh time in nine games.

The Orioles led, 3-1, after 7 1/2 innings despite having a runner thrown out at the plate in the first, leaving the bases loaded in the third and failing to bring home runners from second with none out in the fifth and sixth. They left the bases loaded in the ninth and failed to score in the 10th after putting runners on first and third with none out.

So in the bottom of the 10th, there was the Indians' Mitch Webster -- bunting a pitch from reliever Brian Holton past the charging Hulett for a hit. Jerry Browne sacrificed and Holton intentionally walked Carlos Baerga, who tied the game in eighth with a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit double off starter John Mitchell.

Chris James lined out to center and Holton walked Candy Maldonado on several close pitches to load the bases. When a Holton ran the count to 2-0 on Brookens with a fastball Holton said was "thigh-high" and "split the plate," Robinson came to the mound.

"You can't throw a pitch better than that!" Robinson said he yelled at Holton as home plate umpire Derryl Cousins approached to break up the meeting.

Arguing balls and strikes usually results in quick ejection, and Cousins supplied it upon reaching the mound.

Robinson maintained he did not know where Cousins was and that he was just trying to commiserate with Holton.

Cousins: "I'm no fool. He said it for my benefit, and he knows it."

Robinson: "If I wanted to talk to {Cousins}, I would have waited for him to get up" to the mound.

Asked how loud Robinson had been, Holton said: "It was noisy."

After Robinson left, Holton (2-3) threw a pitch that was called a strike. Brookens hit the next pitch.

With Doug Jones (3-2) pitching in the top of the 10th, Cal Ripken singled to lead off. It was the third hit in four at-bats for Ripken, who batted fifth tonight, the first time he has batted higher than sixth in nine games. Hulett sent Ripken to third with another single, which tied his career best with four hits. Joe Orsulak followed with a low liner that first baseman Brook Jacoby caught. Bob Melvin grounded into a double play.

"We stunk," hitting coach Tom McCraw said. "You can't say it's bad luck when you're not hitting fastballs. You can't leave that many men on night after night and expect to beat a major league ballclub."

Mitchell, who pitched poorly last Saturday in his first appearance since being recalled from Rochester, was 180 degrees better tonight. But he was not good enough to disturb the status of Pete Harnisch and Dave Johnson as the only Orioles starters with victories since June 4.

After allowing the Indians to equalize Randy Milligan's bases-empty home run in the first inning on two hits and a one-out flyout, Mitchell was two batters from perfect for the next 6 1/3 innings. Sandy Alomar was stranded after doubling with two out in the second and Browne was wiped out in a double play after walking to lead off the sixth.

Meantime, the Orioles took a 3-1 lead with a two-run sixth inning in which Mickey Tettleton homered off starter Greg Swindell and reliever Sergio Valdez brought home a run with a wild pitch.

Mitchell came apart in the eighth.

Cory Snyder, who had thrown out Tettleton at the plate in the first, led off with a double. As the bullpen got started, Alomar walked on a 3-2 pitch. The runners advanced on a bunt by Webster.

Browne, a switch hitter, hit a fly to medium left field. Steve Finley, who had pinch hit for Donell Nixon in the seventh, caught the ball and made an excellent throw to keep Snyder at third.

Switch-hitting Baerga -- entering the game seven for 18 as a pinch hitter -- hit Mitchell's pitch on the outer edge of the plate into the left field corner for a rule-book double that tied the score.

"I just liked Mitchell against that guy," Robinson said. "With the way we wanted to pitch him, he had the pitches. He didn't get the ball where we wanted. He got the ball up. He's a sinkerball pitcher."

Robinson brought in Mark Williamson, who left after 1 1/3 innings Monday night with back stiffness he said was caused by Cleveland Stadium's low, flat pitcher's mounds. Williamson walked James and Maldonado to load the bases.

After the game Robinson said he didn't think Williamson had performed as if he were 100 percent. But Williamson said: "I felt fine. . . . I just didn't get the ball down. I might have felt too good actually. My arm felt too strong."

With left-hand-batting Ken Phelps scheduled, Robinson called for left-hander Kevin Hickey. Indians Manager John McNamara sent up right-hand-batting Brookens who grounded into a fielder's choice on Hickey's first pitch.

With two out in the ninth, Finley singled and went to third when Bill Ripken grounded a hit-and-run single into the hole created when second baseman Browne went to cover the base. Milligan walked, but Tettleton struck out.

Orioles Notes: Pitcher Bob Milacki threw in the bullpen before tonight's game and reported no problems. "I felt a lot better than I thought I would," he said. "I didn't even feel the stiffness I usually feel after my last start."

Pitching coach Al Jackson, who kept a close watch on Milacki, said the right-hander "is not 100 percent" because of muscle weakness in his right shoulder, but "he's sound enough to do the job."

Thus, Milacki will start Sunday in Boston against the Red Sox.