- Associated Press - Sunday, May 25, 2014

BALTIMORE (AP) - Soon after Trevor Bauer walked to the mound for his third start of the season, it quickly became apparent the right-hander was going to have difficulty taming his fastball.

It was a problem he never resolved.

Bauer didn’t get out of the fifth inning, and the Cleveland Indians had to settle for a split of their four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles after losing 4-2 Sunday.

Bauer (1-2) allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings, the second-shortest of his 11 career starts. He struck out eight, including Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy twice each, but also walked two and allowed home runs to Manny Machado and Nelson Cruz.

“I thought right from the get-go he was having a tough time commanding his fastball,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He was a lot in deep counts. His stuff was good, but a lot of it was elevated.”

Bauer made no excuses.

“My worst command of the year,” he said. “Felt great. Felt good all day. Just couldn’t throw the fastball where I wanted to.”

Cleveland did all its scoring in the first inning, got only five hits and absorbed its second loss in seven games.

“I think we’re playing good baseball,” Bauer said. “I wish I had given the team more of a chance to win today. At least we kept it close to the end of the game.”

Miguel Gonzalez (3-3) bounced back from a shaky start to hold the Indians to two runs and four hits over six innings. He’s 3-0 in three career starts against Cleveland.

Zach Britton, the third Orioles reliever, worked a perfect ninth to earn his second save.

Back in the lineup after missing two days with a right groin strain, Machado hit an opposite-field drive to right to put Baltimore ahead 3-2 in the fifth.

“It still bothers me a little bit, but nothing too crazy,” Machado said. “Like I said, feels much better than what it was initially when it first happened. We’re just going to keep treating it and hopefully it will get better.”

One out later, Cruz hit his major-league leading 16th home run on a 3-2 pitch.

Cruz hit a slider,” Bauer said. “I can’t really throw that one aggressively or I’ll walk him there. He hit it. He’s a good hitter.”

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