As many baseball fans know, the Detroit Tigers do not have the best bullpen in the world. The Orioles exposed this fact during their four game series this past weekend.
Game One: Orioles: 7, Tigers: 5
The first game of this series started off fairly rocky for the Orioles. Ubaldo Jimenez was sent to the hill and did not have his best stuff coming out of the gate. Jimenez on the night went five innings allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out only two and walked four batters.
The Orioles were able to score two in the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-2 at the time, which is an accomplishment in itself due to how effectively the Tigers’ starter Mike Pelfrey was against the O’s hitters.
However, in the bottom of the seventh, the Orioles would finally break through. Joey Rickard and Manny Machado got the inning started with back to back singles followed by RBI single for Adam Jones, scoring Rickard. This was immediately followed by an RBI single for Chris Davis, scoring Manny Machado.
Two batters later, Pedro Alvarez tied up the game with his own RBI single, scoring Adam Jones. Following that, Jonathan Schoop got a 2-RBI triple, the first of his career, to make it 7-5 Orioles which would be the final score of the game.
Game Two: Orioles: 1, Tigers: 0
If you love a good pitcher’s duel, this was your game to watch. Going to the mound for their respected teams in this one were Chris Tillman and Justin Verlander, one with a history that includes an MVP award, Cy Young and two no hitters while the other just wants to be a consistent top of the rotation arm.
Tillman and Verlander matched each other pitch for pitch, making each other work even harder to make sure the other team did not score because of who was on the mound.
For the Orioles’ starter, Tillman went seven innings allowing no runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking only two. As for Verlander, he went eight innings, giving him a complete game, allowing one run on four hits while striking out eight and walking only two as well.
The lone run of the game came from an Adam Jones solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, which is very refreshing to see after being super concerned about him only a week ago.
Game Three: Orioles: 9, Tigers: 3
Would you believe this game was scoreless until the six inning? It really was!
Mike Wright went to the mound looking for his second win of the season and he pitched pretty effectively. Wright went seven innings allowing two runs on three hits while striking out six and walking three. The big blow against him came in the bottom of the sixth when Miguel Cabrera hit the furthest ball I have ever seen hit at Camden Yards, making it 2-0 at the time.
The Orioles answered right back in the bottom of the inning with Mark Trumbo getting an RBI double, scoring Adam Jones which was followed by a two run home run by Matt Wieters.
The O’s would tack on five insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a solo home run by Adam Jones and a grand slam by Jonathan Schoop, his second home run of the game, making it 9-3.
Game Four: Tigers: 6, Orioles: 5
All good things must come to an end and that was the case of the Orioles second 7-game winning streak of the season up until this point.
Kevin Gausman got the start for the O’s in what was easily his roughest outing of the season. Gausman went five innings allowing four runs on 10 hits while only striking out one and walked two.
The Orioles offense tried to help out Gausman as best as they could, starting with a 3-1 lead following the first inning. The Tigers would score again in the top of the second and fourth to make it 3-3 and would eventually take the lead in the top of the fifth to make it 4-3.
Manny Machado would end that right away with a two run home run in the bottom of the fifth, making it 5-4 Orioles at the time.
Unfortunately for the O’s, the Tigers would come back in the top of the eighth inning against Darren O’Day with back to back home runs by J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera, which all started because of a borderline check swing call on Martinez with two strikes and two outs.
While four game sweeps are hard to get, taking three of four from the Tigers will obviously be labeled as a success for the Orioles so far in this still very early season.
The O’s now look to the next series where they will welcome the Mariners to Camden Yards for the first time this season. Ubaldo Jimenez will open up this series as well against Wade Miley. Chris Tillman will go for the Orioles in the second game and Taijuan Walker will go for the Mariners, which may be another pitcher’s duel. For the series finale, Tyler Wilson will go up against Nathan Karns.
Following the series against Seattle, the Orioles will head out on a nine game road trip that will include visits to Anaheim to face the Angels, Houston to face the Astros and Cleveland to face the Indians.