The Orioles got five strong innings from right-hander Chris
Tillman and their bullpen completed the job despite a few shaky
moments against the dangerous Detroit line-up in a game that
featured five home runs and was closer than the final score
Baltimore held a tenuous one-run lead until breaking the game open
with eight runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The generosity of Detroitís three relievers, who gave up seven runs,
six earned, on five hits in 2/3 of an inning after starter Max
Scherzer was replaced, allowed the Orioles to run up a franchise
record score in a postseason game.
Left fielder Alejandro De Aza scored from third on an error from
shortstop Andrew Romine with one out and that opened the floodgates.
"I canít remember the last time he made an error. It doesnít change
my opinion about this guy as a shortstop," Detroit manager Brad
Ausmus told reporters.
"Itís a team effort. Up to that point it was a pretty good game. It
just got away from us."
Five Baltimore players had two hits, including designated hitter
Nelson Cruz, who continued to torment the Tigers, hitting a two-run
homer in the first inning. He now has seven home runs in seven
career postseason games against Detroit.
Tillman, who was 13-6 in the regular season, got the win after
throwing 73 strikes in 105 pitches, with six strikeouts. He gave up
four hits and two runs.
[to top of second column]
After a sizzling first inning, he gave up solo home runs just four
pitches apart in the second inning to Victor Martinez and J.D.
But Tillman made a technical adjustment before the third inning on
the advice of his pitching coach and was much sharper thereafter.
Detroit's only other run came from another solo home run by Miguel
Cabrera in the eighth, long after Tillman had left the game.
Scherzer, in his first appearance against Baltimore this season,
took the loss after 7-1/3 innings. He was charged with five runs on
seven hits in what may prove to be his final game for Detroit as he
enters free agency.
The second game is on Friday.
(Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Greg
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.