Orioles complete comeback as Tigers bullpen fizzles
FINAL: Orioles 8, Tigers 7
In the ninth, Ian Kinsler notched a one-out single to center field, and Victor Martinez beat out a double play ball to keep the game alive against O's closer Zach Britton.
With Tyler Collins pinch-running fresh off the bus from Toledo, J.D. Martinez struck out swinging.
Tonight's game looked a lot like last night. The Tigers bats did work, and the bullpen imploded. Only difference this time around was that the Orioles were the team escaping with a one-run win.
Buck Farmer gave up four runs (three earned) in less than five innings of work, Ian Krol had no control out of the bullpen, and Jose Valdez was just flat out bad in his Major League debut.
If what's left of the Tigers are serious about making a run at the wild card, they can't lose games where the offense puts up seven runs and 16 hits. It's mesmerizing at times to see what can happen next with these relievers. Everybody seems to have their day of reckoning.
Bottom 8th: Orioles 8, Tigers 7
The backend of the Tigers bullpen actually did a bit of good work tonight. Bruce Rondon put together a perfect eighth inning against the top of the Baltimore order, picking up a strikeout of Adam Jones in the process.
With Feliz picking up five outs and Rondon looking strong, the Tigers can at least take solace in hoping that these guys are progressing.
Top 8th: Orioles 8, Tigers 7
With the help of a generous and inconsistent strike zone, Darren O'Day picked up two strikeouts before giving up a double to Anthony Gose. Rajai Davis couldn't deliver the tying run home, though, popping out to end the inning.
It looked like Tyler Collins just arrived from Toledo to the Tigers bench. Brad Ausmus probably wishes he had gotten there 10 minutes earlier so that he could have used him to pinch-hit for Davis against O'Day.
Bottom 7th: Orioles 8, Tigers 7
Ryan Flaherty grounded out to 2nd, Jonathan Schoop flew out to left field, and David Lough struck out as Neftali Feliz put together a rare 1-2-3 inning.
Despite the shock of another blown lead, the Tigers are still very much in this game and have some work to do here in the later innings.
Top 7th: Orioles 8, Tigers 7
The Tigers have to feel like the whole world is against them right now.
Despite scoring a run when Victor Martinez grounded out with Ian Kinsler on third, the Tigers probably feel like this game should be tied.
Jose Iglesias singled to right field to leadoff the inning against Baltimore reliever Chaz Roe. Kinsler doubled to the gap in right-center, and Dave Clark sent Iglesias home, where he looked to be out by a mile. Thing is, O's catcher Matt Wieters was blocking the plate, and Brad Ausmus got the play reviewed, who, for some reason, still held that Iglesias was out.
With two outs, the O's brought in Darren O'Day to face J.D. Martinez, who drew a two-out walk. It was for naught, however, as Nick Castellanos struck out for the fourth time tonight.
Bottom 6th: Orioles 8, Tigers 6
Well, that's one way to begin your Major League Career.
Jose Valdez, who was called up from Toledo today, came on for Ian Krol after the lefty issued a leadoff walk to David Lough. Valdez threw three straight balls to Manny Machado, and after a called strike, Machado took the next pitch and hit it deep to left field for a two-run homer.
Things didn't get any better for Valdez. He walked Jimmy Paredes, and Adam Jones reached base when Anthony Gose caught the ball on a diving attempt, but lost his glove underneath himself as he slid on the ground. With men on first and second, Chris Davis notched an RBI single to right field, and that was all she wrote for Valdez. The rookie didn't record a single out against four batters.
With runners on the corners, Brad Ausmus brought in Neftali Feliz. For some reason, Chris Davis tried to steal on James McCann, and was thrown out as he went in to second standing up. Had he slid, he probably would have been safe. Feliz struck out Wieters for the second out, and he got J.J. Hardy to groundout to third to end an inning that actually could have been much worse.
Feliz was the saving grace of that sixth inning. That's about all you need to know about how bad Hardy and Valdez were.
Top 6th: Tigers 6, Orioles 5
After James McCann struck out, Jefry Marte delivered his third hit of the night in the form of a single to left field.
Anthony Gose couldn't help his team out, grounding into a tailor-made double play that was turned into a fielder's choice and an out at first base thanks to a bobble from O's second baseman Jonathan Schoop. Not so dramatically, Rajai David flew out to right field to end the inning.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 6, Orioles 5
Apparently, putting runners on the corners with one out for the third time tonight was just one time too many for Buck Farmer, who gave up a three-run home run to Adam Jones.
After getting David Lough to groundout to leadoff the inning, Farmer issued a walk to Manny Machado, who has reached base three different way tonight (HBP, Bunt, BB). Jimmy Paredes singled off Farmer to right field, setting up the Jones big fly.
That was the end of the night for Farmer, as Brad Aumus brought in Ian Krol to face Chris Davis.
David singled to right field, and Krol walked Matt Wieters on four pitches. J.J. Hardy hit one back the middle off the leg of Krol, and when the Tigers reliever probably should have let it go, he chased it down and made a sidearm throw to first as he fell to the ground. Predictably, that throw went wide of Jefry Marte, and Davis scored to make it 6-5.
Somehow, Krol stemmed the tide and kept the Tigers in the lead, striking out Ryan Flaherty and getting Jonathan School to groundout to end the inning.
Top 5th: Tigers 6, Orioles 1
Victor Martinez found a hole through the right side of the infield for a one-out single off of Mike Wright, who had to come out of the game due to a leg injury.
The O's had to turn to Mychal Givens, and he did the job. The rookie got J.D. Martinez to fly out to deep right field, and fanned Nick Castellanos, who struck out for the third time tonight.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 6, Orioles 1
Matt Wieters doubled to deep left-center field with one out, and it looked like Buck Farmer was going to get out of the inning unscathed, but Jefry Marte let a ball go right under his glove and into right field with two outs as the O's got their first run of the night.
The play was scored as an error, and Farmer got Jonathan Schoop to pop out in the next at-bat to end the inning.
Once again, Farmer made the pitches he had to make to get out of a situation with a runner in scoring position. It wasn't hit fault that Marte had a bit of a mental lapse.
Top 4th: Tigers 6, Orioles 0
The Tigers catcher of the future is here, and he just keeps getting better as the season goes along.
James McCann hit his fifth home run of the year to the deepest part of center field.
Oh, and if that wasn't enough, Jefry Marte notched his second RBI of the night with a deep solo shot to left field as the Tigers hit back-to-back home runs to leadoff the fourth.
After a one-out single by Rajai Davis, Wei-Yin Chen was shown the door by manager Buck Showalter. The O's starter threw 71 pitches, giving up 10 hits and six runs. But hey, at least he struck out six guys. That has to count for something, right?
Davis was caught trying to steal second off of O's reliever Mike Wright, and the inning came to an end with a groundout off the bat of Jose Iglesias.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 4, Orioles 0
Buck Farmer did it again.
Manny Machado bunted for a base hit with one out, and Jimmy Paredes singled to right field, putting runners on the corners for the second time tonight with the meat of the order coming up for the O's.
Farmer kept his cool, getting Adam Jones to ground into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
What an impressive start for the youngster. Yes, he's allowed base runners in two innings, but he's staying calm and making good pitches.
Top 3rd: Tigers 4, Orioles 0
Even with Yoenis Cespedes heading out of town, the Tigers still have some pop in the lineup, most notably from the guy wearing number 28.
After Ian Kinsler delivered a one-out single to left field, and Victor Martinez struck out, J.D. Martinez went deep for the 28th time this year to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
Wei-Yin Chen struck out the side and has six punch outs tonight, but the Tigers have seven hits, and J.D.'s was the biggest of them all.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 2, Orioles 0
J.J. Hardy popped out, Ryan Flaherty grounded out, and Jonathan did the same as Buck Farmer had himself an easy 1-2-3 second inning.
Farmer has to be feeling good about himself after getting out of a jam in the first inning against the meat of the O's lineup. He did just what he needed to do, carrying that momentum forward for an easy inning against the bottom of the order.
Top 2nd: Tigers 2, Orioles 0
Jefry Marte chopped a one-out double off the ground and past a diving Manny Machado at third base to score James McCann all the way from first.
McCann had notched a one-out single off of O's starter Wei-Yin Chen, and the Tigers now have as many runs (11) as innings they've played the past two nights in Baltimore.
With Marte at second, Anthony Gose struck out swinging, and Rajai Davis grounded out to end the inning.
The Tigers bats just keep producing against O's pitching. They're still likely to need a few more runs to hold on and win tonight, but they're off to a good start.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 1, Orioles 0
Buck Farmer was in trouble. The young pitcher had hit Manny Machado with a pitch to leadoff the inning, and he had runners on the corners after a one-out Adam Jones single to right field. Farmer needed a confidence boost, and he may have gotten one that could carry him for the rest of the night.
Farmer battled against O's slugger Chris Davis, and he eventually got the big-time slugger to swing at strike three, a breaking ball in the dirt.
After falling behind 3-0 to Matt Wieters, Farmer induced a groundout off the number five hitters bat and escaped his first early trouble of the night.
I'm not saying Farmer is going to have a breakout performance tonight, but being able to work out of a scary situation like that is a big deal for a young guy who hasn't had the most success in his limited work at this level. Keep working, young man.
Top 1st: Tigers 1, Orioles 0
Yoenis Cespedes, who? Rajai Davis, starting in place of the recently traded Cespedes in left field, doubled to center field to lead off the game.
After a Jose Iglesias single to left field put runners on the corners, Ian Kinsler delivered an RBI single off the leg of O's starter Wei-Yin Chen.
Victor Martinez couldn't keep the hit party going, grounding into a double play. J.D. Martinez struck out swinging to end the inning.
1. Rajai Davis, LF
2. Jose Iglesias, SS
3. Ian Kinsler, 2B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
7. James McCann, C
8. Jefry Marte, 1B
9. Anthony Gose, CF
Buck Farmer, RHP
1. Manny Machado, 3B
2. Jimmy Paredes, DH
3. Adam Jones, CF
4. Chris Davis, RF
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. J.J. Hardy, SS
7. Ryan Flaherty, 1B
8. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
9. David Lough, LF
Wei-Yin Chen, LHP