Orioles' bats come alive in Detroit
DETROIT – The Orioles headed off to Toronto, feeling satisfied. For the regular season, at least, they’ve seen the last of the Detroit Tigers.
The Orioles’ 13-3 win over the Tigers before 38,574 on Wednesday was impressive in many ways. The 13 runs scored were the most since Aug. 10, 2010, the first week of the Buck Showalter era. They won both their series against Detroit over the last three weeks, and hadn’t taken a season series from the Tigers since 2008.
At 42-31, the Orioles are a season-high 11 games over .500.
“I think we’re through playing those guys, hopefully. Hopefully,” Showalter said. “You never look forward to playing them.”
In winning four of six from Detroit (39-31), the Orioles scored their most dramatic win of the season, their first-ever win over Justin Verlander and their most potent offensive day of the season.
The Orioles matched their biggest inning of the season with six runs and seven hits in the fourth, three runs in the seventh and four in the ninth against Detroit’s beleaguered closer Jose Valverde.
Chris Davis had two home runs and five RBIs. He hit a two-run opposite field home run in the fourth and another in the ninth. He has a major league leading 26 home runs. He took a split-finger from Valverde to right field.
“Split right into my barrel,” Davis said.
Davis was able to enjoy participating in a rare blowout, though after the Orioles took a 6-0 lead, the Tigers scored three and closed to 6-3 after six.
“We are kind of the king of playing close games. Anytime you can go out there and put up a bunch of runs, it takes some pressure off your pitching staff and lets everybody breathe a little easier,” Davis said.
Taylor Teagarden had a three-run shot in the fourth, his first of the season, and just his second hit of 2013.
“It makes me feel like Adam Jones for an inning or two,” Teagarden said.
Chris Tillman (8-2) won his fifth straight decision. Tillman wasn’t at his best, leaving after the first two batters reached in the sixth. He gave up three runs on seven hits in five-plus, walking three and striking out three.
“I really didn’t have a feel a single pitch today,” Tillman said.
“Too many pitches, early, late. I struggled getting ahead, and when I did I struggled staying ahead.”
Tillman had a 6-0 lead on the home runs by Davis, Teagarden and an RBI single by Manny Machado, but the Tigers scored a run in the fourth and two in the sixth.
“Results-wise at the end of the day, a win is a win. A good team win today. I should have been better, but at the same time you have to be happy to come out of Detroit winning the series. These guys have got a good lineup and we know that. It was a grind for me today. No breaks today,” Tillman said.
Adam Jones’ infield single, Davis’ RBI ground-rule double and a sacrifice fly by J.J. Hardy drove in the three runs the Orioles scored in the seventh to make it 9-3.
Jones had three RBIs on the seventh-inning single and a two-run double ahead of Davis’ home run.
T.J. McFarland pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Tillman. Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless eighth, and Freddy Garcia worked the ninth.
The Orioles have won 16 series, the most in baseball. They’ve lost only one of their last 10. Since May 21, they’re 19-10 and Showalter acknowledged they’re playing consistently.
“There’s just an aura and feel in the locker room and our guys have carried that since the first day of spring training,” he said.
“I think we are doing a lot of things right. We are throwing the really well, getting some timely hits and scoring some runs. And obviously the defense has been huge as well. I think as a whole, we are playing really well right now,” Davis said.
NOTES: Showalter said the Orioles will start Jason Hammel (7-4, 5.24) against R.A. Dickey (6-8, 4.90) on Friday night. Miguel Gonzalez, returning from paternity leave, will start on Saturday, and either Garcia or Zach Britton will pitch Sunday.
-The Orioles pulled off a double steal in the seventh inning. Nate McLouth stole his career-high 24th base, Machado, his sixth. Hardy stole his first base in three seasons with the Orioles in the fourth.
-Machado had two hits. He has 31 multi-hit games.
-The Orioles have signed seven more draft picks: eighth-rounder Trey Mancini, Austin Wynns (10th), Randolph Gassaway (16th), Dylan Rheault (19th), Donnie Hart (27th) Justin Viele (37th) and Garrett Cortright (40th). Seventeen of the team’s draft picks have officially signed. Mancini and Wynns will report to Aberdeen, the others go to Gulf Coast.