It took a few games of questions, but the Detroit Tigers were finally able to figure out their hitting woes when they were defeated in walk off fashion by the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 tonight. The five runs were two more than the Tigers have scored in the past three games, when they were shut out in two of the three games.
Miguel Cabrera got the party started for the Tigers when he hit his team leading 16th home run to left field, a two run shot, in the first inning after an Andy Dirks double. The Orioles would not led the lead stand for long however when they were able to strike for a run in the second inning on a sacrafice fly from Matt Wieters scoring Adam Jones. The Orioles were able to add two more runs in the second ining when Jones hit his 11th hoome run of the year to center field, a two run shot. Max Scherzer was able to get into a groove after that point and was able to retire 16 Baltimore batters in a row while not allowing any more runs while the Tigers were able to add one run in the fourth off of an Avisail Garcia single scoring Jhonny Peralta. The Tigers were able to take the 4-3 lead in the fifth inning, when Victor Martinez grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. The Tigers then added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Avisail Garcia hit his second major league home run, also his second of the season, to take the 5-3 lead.
Things were quiet for both teams in the seventh and eighth innings and the Tigers went quietly in the top of the ninth. From here, the Tigers were able to turn to their closer, Jose Valverde, for the final three outs after Scherzer went eight innings. The ninth inning was the Jose Valverde that we saw in the 2012 playoffs. Baltimore was able to start off the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run from Nick Markakis to trim the Tigers lead to 5-4 on a ball that Avisail Garcia jumped at the fence for but was unable to come up with. From there, Valverde was not able to record an out and Adam Jones reached on an infield single and with two strikes, Chris Davis was able to single to right field, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Valverde was able to get two critical outs when Matt Wieters popped out to first base and J.J. Hardy popped out to shortstop. Valverde looked like he was going to escape the jam he put himself in until Chris Dickerson sent a 2-1 fastball to centerfield for a three run home run and the game winner with Baltimore winning the game 7-5.
For the fourth straight game, the Tigers starting pitcher had a dominating game, though all four games have been losses. In the previous three, the offense failed to get going, but tonight it was a failed bullpen. Scherzer settled down nicely after giving up the three runs and was able to retire 16 batters in a row and you had to think that the win was all but guaranteed giving the ball to Valverde, who has been solid so far this season, with a two run lead with only three outs to get. Scherzer’s final line for the game was 8 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K and he was definitely good enough to earn his eighth win of the season which would improve his record to an astonishing 8-0 this year. This is a tough loss for the Tigers, who now have lost four in a row and will have to move on and face the same Baltimore team, who has now won five in a row, tomorrow night.
Detroit (29-24) vs. Baltimore (31-24)
First Pitch: 4:05 PM
- Detroit: Justin Verlander (6-4)
- Baltimore: Jason Hammel (7-2)