Tigers' comeback falls short in finale vs. O's

April 29th, 2018

BALTIMORE -- An injury-shortened start for and early exit for couldn't stop the tenacious Tigers, but the long ball at Camden Yards and the veterans of the Orioles' bullpen finally did. homered twice and halted a pair of Detroit comeback attempts with inning-ending strikeouts, sending the Tigers to a 5-3 loss in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday at Camden Yards.
The defeat left the Tigers with a 2-4 road trip to Pittsburgh and Baltimore, with a quick three-game homestand vs. Tampa Bay coming up before they head back on the road to Kansas City and Texas. But it reinforced their mindset they're trying to instill, that they're not out of a game until the final out.
"We got back in the game and had a chance," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's all you can ask."
With the way the game was trending, it was more than might have been expected. Norris gave up three runs on a pair of homers before leaving with one out in the third inning with left groin tightness. That left Alex Wilson, a veteran victimized by home runs this season, tasked with providing long relief.
Norris looking for answers as groin issue recurs

Wilson delivered 2 2/3 scoreless innings on one hit. Meanwhile, a solo shot off O's starter gave the Tigers life beyond the loud cheering that came from family and friends who made the trip from Hicks' hometown in Virginia.
Cabrera, who provided five RBIs in Saturday's Tigers win, left the game in the fifth inning with a left biceps spasm. On came Niko Goodrum, who followed 's RBI double in the seventh inning with one of his own to whittle Detroit's deficit to 4-3.
Miggy's left biceps 'much better' after treatment

Twice, the Tigers had chances to change the lead. Hicks' return to the batter's box helped chase Gausman from the game after the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth. On came Brach, his earliest appearance in a game in two years revealing how seriously O's manager Buck Showalter took the threat.
Brach induced Hicks to chase a 94-mph fastball off the plate for an inning-ending strikeout.
"I have to do something to get the ball in play there," Hicks said. "That was a big spot in the game. If I can come up with a hit there, that changes the whole game."

's sixth-inning RBI single off eventually stood as the deciding run. Brach teetered through the seventh before fanning with the tying run in scoring position. Castellanos' 0-for-4 afternoon ended a six-game hitting streak, during which he batted 13-for-26 (.500).
Alvarez was a last-minute addition to the Orioles' lineup, making a rare start at third base, but he delivered a two-run home run off Norris in the second inning. Alvarez's eighth-inning solo shot was the first home run allowed this season by , who recorded four outs in the Tigers' win on Saturday night.

Red light, green light: The Tigers had a second-inning scoring chance thwarted by a mixup at third base. Rookie , making a spot start Sunday with off, took off from first on ' double and initially slowed on third-base coach Dave Clark's stop sign. He ran through the bag, then stopped down the third-base line and tried to retreat. O's catcher collected the relay throw with enough time to fire to third base and retire Reyes scrambling back.
"He'll learn from it," Clark said.

Alvarez's second-inning homer off Norris, a 432-foot drive to center, had a 114.2-mph exit velocity, the third-highest by a left-handed hitter off a left-handed pitcher since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015. The second-hardest lefty-lefty homer was also off Norris, a 114.9-mph drive from Texas' Joey Gallo last May 19.

The Tigers return home for a brief three-game homestand against the Rays. (1-0, 7.91) will try to shake off his recent struggles when he starts Monday's series opener at 7:10 p.m. ET opposite Jake Faria (1-1, 6.33).