Tigers roar early, hold off relentless O's
BALTIMORE -- The Tigers exploded for 16 hits on Thursday night in a 9-8 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards, giving Detroit its first consecutive victories since July 8-9 as the team tries to gain ground in the American League Wild Card race on the day it traded away starter David Price and closer Joakim Soria.
The Tigers' offense scratched five runs off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez and four more off reliever Bud Norris, with J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes each contributing three RBIs. But for as good as the offensive production was, it didn't overshadow the night of Detroit starter Alfredo Simon, who picked up his 10th win of the season. The right-hander gave up two hits, both home runs, over 5 2/3 innings in his first career appearance against the Orioles after playing in Baltimore from 2008-11.
Adam Jones and Chris Davis both hit two-run homers off Simon, and the Orioles' offense did its best to battle back. Baltimore scored four runs off Detroit's bullpen, including three in the seventh and one in the eighth. Davis led the comeback charge with four RBIs, while the Tigers used five relievers to finish the game, with Alex Wilson collecting the final five outs to pick up his first career save.
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Detroit bats heat up: After scoring just eight runs in their previous four games, the Tigers recorded all nine runs and 16 hits through six innings -- including three hits each from Cespedes, Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias. Cespedes bolstered his value with the Trade Deadline looming, collecting two singles and a long home run to left field.
"We're still 3 1/2 games out of the Wild Card. There's still things to play for," Kinsler said. "There's people in here that are still trying to establish themselves. The games don't stop. There's still something to work for. Hopefully we can put together some good baseball in the last two months and shock some people." More >
Gonzalez struggles, exits early: Gonzalez lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up a season-high-tying 10 hits. It started in the first inning, when he gave up four hits while throwing 30 pitches, and he allowed three consecutive singles to start the second before getting out of the inning unscathed. The right-hander threw a season-low 66 pitches. More >
"He just wasn't very crisp," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Sticky night, good offensive team and he paid for his mistakes. Sometimes, like a lot of pitchers, you see Miguel scuffle a little bit the first part of it and get back in step, but he never really found his step."
Bullpen woes continue: The Detroit bullpen entered game with a 4.23 ERA, and it didn't get much better. The Tigers used five relievers after Simon provided a strong 5 2/3-inning performance. The bullpen especially struggled in the seventh, when the Orioles struck for three runs against three pitchers. The relief crew also gave up a run in the eighth, which was credited to Al Alburquerque.
Davis hits 25 as O's creep back: Davis' two-run shot to left in the sixth was his 25th home run of the season, making it four straight seasons with at least 25. It also helped the Orioles get back into the game after trailing, 9-2. It was just Baltimore's second hit of the game but ended the night for Simon, who had been cruising. Davis also delivered a two-run single in the seventh to finish with four RBIs.
"We showed we are a really good team and we can score," said second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who went 1-for-4 with a run scored. "We can be down 10 runs and we can come back and score. That's a tough loss today, but tomorrow we have to get them."
"You can't take the competitor out of anybody. We're all out here to win, whether we trade another four or five people or not. We still want to win ballgames. We're not just going to roll over." -- Wilson, who pitched the ninth inning in the Tigers' first game after trading away Soria
"It says a lot about our team, our offense. They are never going to give up. Doesn't matter if the score is 20-0 or 1-0, we are all going to be grinding it out every time we are out there." -- Gonzalez, of the O's comeback bid
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Jones hit his 182nd home run with the Orioles on Thursday, tying him with Ken Singleton for seventh on Baltimore's all-time home run list.
Tigers: Buck Farmer (0-2, 9.22 ERA) will make his third start of the season for Detroit on Friday when he faces the Orioles at 7:05 p.m. ET. In 13 2/3 innings, the 24-year-old has struck out 12. Farmer was 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 16 starts with Triple-A Toledo this season.
Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen, who picked up his first win of July on Sunday against the Rays, starts the second meeting of a four-game series against Detroit. The left-hander lasted 5 1/3 innings while giving up two runs, both on homers. Prior to that start, Chen had a streak of six consecutive quality starts.
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