BALTIMORE, AUG. 25 -- As in most summers recently, there has not been much secret to beating the Cleveland Indians this season. But tonight, before 34,163 at Memorial Stadium, the Orioles did what seems to be the thing not to do.

They let the Indians score first tonight, and when they get started early, they often keeps going. The Indians matched a season high with 18 hits off three pitchers and won by 11-5.

Despite their troubles, which include going 18-25 since the all-star break (worst among AL East teams), the Indians have been tough when they take the lead. They are 58-67 overall, but 45-21 when they score first.

"Every team seems to get going in a game when they score first, but we just didn't stop," said Jerry Browne, who had four hits, including a home run, and drove in four.

Sandy Alomar Jr. had three hits, including a home run, and Steve Olin (2-4), the only effective pitcher of the six the teams used tonight, earned his first victory since May 11 with five scoreless relief innings.

The Orioles, 5-4 winners over the Indians in 11 innings Friday, failed again to get back-to-back victories -- a feat not attained the last two weeks. They fell to 28-29 at home.

Orioles starter Pete Harnisch (9-9) has had control problems recently, but still had a 1.86 ERA in his last three games coming in. A lack of support, though, had left him 0-2 in those efforts.

Tonight, he had little from the beginning and was done by the fourth inning. He has not won since July 22 (covering his last six starts) and has won only twice in his last 12.

"He had good stuff tonight, he just didn't make good pitches," said Orioles Manager Frank Robinson. "It just seems like we can't go through the {pitching} rotation and get quality starts from all four guys without someone getting hit. If it was only one guy, you could take him out of the rotation, but it is always a different guy each time through."

Each team had men on base in each of its first seven at-bats. The difference was that the Indians moved their runners around, scoring three in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth for an 8-5 lead.

After leaving men on base in two scoreless innings against Harnisch, the Indians started hitting line drives in the third like they were in a slow-pitch softball game.

They took a 3-0 lead with a rally started by rookie sensation Alex Cole. He lined a shot to right-center and never stopped running, stretching it into a double.

Browne, who had a miserable first half of the season but was hitting .303 in his last 21 games before tonight, scored Cole with a single to left. One out later, Candy Maldonado singled and and designated hitter Chris James drove an RBI hit to right field. Brook Jacoby made it 3-0 with a single to left.

In the bottom of the third, the Orioles, who had totaled three runs in Harnisch's last four starts, scored four unearned runs to take a 4-3 lead.

The key hit was designated hitter Mike Devereaux's two-out, bases-loaded double down the left field line. It scored three, including Mickey Tettleton, whose three walks tonight increased his major league leading total to 92.

The important play in the inning, however, was second baseman Browne's one-out throwing error. He fielded Sam Horn's high bouncer but not cleanly. Still, his toss toward second would have forced Cal Ripken had it not been off line and into short left field. Steve Finley scored the Orioles' first run on the error.

Neither Harnisch nor Indians starter Sergio Valdez was around by the end of the fourth.

Leading off the fourth, Harnisch got ahead of rookie catcher Alomar 0-2, then knocked him down. Alomar hit the next pitch over the left-center field wall for his seventh home run.

"He was probably trying to pitch me inside -- at least that's what I will think," said Alomar. "But it kind of woke me up. You don't want to get hit by a 90 mile-an-hour fastball."

No. 9 hitter Felix Fermin then walked on four pitches. One out later, Browne lofted a long homer over the right-center field fence for a 6-4 lead, finishing Harnisch.

Browne has killed the Orioles this season, going 15 for 33 (.455) with three homers and 10 RBI. The Indians are 5-3 against the Orioles.

A leadoff double down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth sunk Sergio Valdez in favor of rookie left-hander Efrain Valdez (no relation). Finley's sacrifice fly eventually scored Ripken to make it 6-5, Cleveland.

The Indians increased their lead to 8-5 with two runs off Jeff Ballard in the top of the fifth. Alomar's single scored Jacoby. Mitch Webster, who reached on a pinch-hit bloop single (Indians pinch hitters are five for six against Baltimore this season), scored from third on Cole's infield hit.

Olin pitched Friday, causing Indians Manager John McNamara some concern about using him tonight. By the fifth inning, he felt desperate. CLEVELAND ab r h bi BALTIMORE ab r h bi Cole cf 6 2 2 1 BAnderson cf 5 0 1 0 Browne 2b 6 3 4 4 SFinley rf 4 1 2 1 Baerga 3b 5 0 2 1 CRipken ss 2 1 0 0 Maldonado rf 5 1 2 0 Horn 1b 5 1 0 0 CJames dh 5 0 3 1 Orsulak lf 4 0 1 0 Jacoby 1b 4 1 1 1 Tettleton c 1 1 1 0 DJames lf 1 0 0 0 Hoiles c 0 0 0 0 Webster lf 3 1 1 0 Devereaux dh 3 0 2 3 Alomar c 5 2 3 2 Worthngtn 3b 4 0 0 0 Fermin ss 3 1 0 0 BRipken 2b 4 1 1 0 Totals 43 11 18 10 Totals 32 5 8 4 Cleveland 003 320 300 11 Baltimore 004 100 000 5

E: Browne, BRipken. DP: Cleveland 2, Baltimore 1. LOB: Cleveland 9, Baltimore 9. 2B: Browne, Cole, Devereau

S. Valdez pitched to 1 batter in the 4th, EValdez pitched to 2 batters in the 5th. WP: Bautista.

Umpires: Home, McClelland; First, Denkinger; Second, Voltaggio; Third, Shulock.

T: 3:24. A: 34,163.