Live Tigers blog: Tigers blow 5-run lead, lose 7-5

Al Willman
The Detroit News
Baltimore Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez delivers against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning.

Mike Pelfrey needed Thursday’s start.

The Tigers bullpen, however, did not do him any favors, giving up five runs in the seventh on the way to a 7-5 loss to the Orioles.

Pelfrey left after 5 1/3 innings, allowing a pair of runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking two. He did not factor in the decision.

The Tigers bullpen imploded in the seventh inning. Alex Wilson, who took the loss, allowed three runs on three hits, in just one third of an inning. Justin Wilson replaced him with one out and allowed two more runs in two thirds of an inning.

Victor Martinez was 3-for-4 with three singles and two RBIs, and Steven Moya — who was called from Triple-A up prior to Thursday’s game — was 2-for-4.

Ubaldo Jimenez started for the Orioles. He gave up five runs on nine hits in five innings.

The Tigers continue the four-game series Friday at 7:05.

Bottom 8th: Norris blanks O's

Daniel Norris came on to replace fellow left-hander Justin Wilson in the bottom of the eighth for the Tigers. Norris got Caleb Joseph to fly out to left fielder Steven Moya on one pitch to start the half inning. Norris then walked Joey Rickard on four pitches. Manny Machado flew out to center fielder Justin Upton for the second out and Adam Jones grounded to third baseman Nick Castellanos to end the inning. After eight, the O’s lead 7-5.

Top 8th: Tigers strand J.D.

The Tigers, despite having a runner in scoring position, could not score in the top of the eighth. Orioles reliever Darren O’Day walked J.D. Martinez to start the inning, but the next three Tigers went down in order. Miguel Cabrera popped out to catcher Caleb Joseph, for the first out. Victor Martinez grounded into a fielder’s choice, advancing J.D. Martinez to second with two outs. Nick Castellanos flew out to end the inning. Going to the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers trail 7-5.

Bottom 7th: Tigers bullpen implodes

Alex Wilson took the mound to start the bottom of the seventh, but didn’t last long. After getting Caleb Joseph to line out to left fielder Steven Moya, the wheels came off the bus. Wilson allowed consecutive singles to Joey Rickard, Manny Machado and Adam Jones (RBI, scoring Rickard). Alex Wilson gave way to Justin Wilson, who gave up an RBI single to Chris Davis. Mark Trumbo then flew out to Moya in left, whose throw home kept Davis at third base. A Pedro Alvarez RBI single tied the game at 5-5, with two outs. Jonathan Schoop followed with a 2-run triple off Justin Wilson, giving the O’s a 7-5 lead. After seven, the Orioles lead the Tigers, 7-5.

Top 7th: Tigers put 2 on, don't score

The Tigers had a runner in scoring position with one out, but could not capitalize. Justin Upton grounded out to start the inning, before Steven Moya and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled -- putting runners on first and second with one out. Jose Iglesias grounded into a fielder’s choice, advancing Moya to third with two outs. But Ian Kinsler grounded out to end the inning. Going to the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers are holding on to a 5-2 lead.

Bottom 6th: O's chase Pelfrey, score 2

Mike Pelfrey’s night got a bit more troublesome in the bottom of the sixth. After giving up a leadoff single to Manny Machado, the right-hander got Adam Jones to strike out swinging. Chris Davis doubled on a 2-0 pitch to left center, scoring Machado -- the first run of the night for Baltimore. After walking Mark Trumbo on eight pitches, Pelfrey gave way to lefty Kyle Ryan -- who retired the left-handed hitting Pedro Alvarez. Right-hander Drew VerHagen then entered the game, allowing an RBI infield single to Jonathan Schoop, but then got Ryan Flaherty to ground out to end the inning. Pelfrey finished with 5 1/3 innings pitched, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking two. After six, the Tigers lead 5-2.

Top 6th: V-Mart, Tigers pad lead

The Tigers added a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to pad their lead over the Orioles. After Jose Iglesias reached on an error and Ian Kinsler singled to lead off the inning and chase Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez, the Tigers offense kept working. J.D. Martinez struck out swinging, before Miguel Cabrera's RBI single scored Iglesias. The next batter, Victor Martinez, continued his hitting, driving in Kinsler on his third single of the night. After six, the Tigers are on top 5-0.

Bottom 5th: Pelfrey escapes jam

Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey faced the first real pressure of the game in the bottom of the fifth. After getting the first two outs rather quickly, on a strikeout of Pedro Alvarez and a Jonathan Schoop pop out, he put the next two runners on base. Ryan Flaherty and Caleb Joseph singled, but Pelfrey bounced back. He got Joey Rickard to strike out swinging, ending the inning. Through five, the Tigers are up 3-0.

Top 5th: Tigers go 1-2-3

The Tigers went down in order in the top of the fifth. Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez got Justin Upton to pop out to first baseman Chris Davis. Steven Moya struck out looking on a letter-high pitch, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out to second baseman Jonathan Schoop. The Tigers are up 3-0 going to the bottom of the fifth.

Bottom 4th: Pelfrey retires side

Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey set the Orioles down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth. He got Adam Jones on a short grounder back to the mound, Chris Davis to strike out swinging and Mark Trumbo to fly out to right field. After four, the Tigers remain ahead of the Orioles, 3-0.

Top 4th: Salty goes yard, adds to lead

The Tigers scored twice in the top of the fourth, to add to their lead. Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered to right field -- his seventh of the season -- to lead off the inning. After a single from Ian Kinsler and a double from J.D. Martinez put runners at second and third with one out, Miguel Cabrera hit into an RBI ground out, scoring Kinsler. After four and a half, the Tigers are up 3-0.

Bottom 3rd: O's get first hit, no more

Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey is in a groove. After allowing his first hit -- a 1-out single by Caleb Joseph -- he settled back in, retiring the next two Orioles in order. Manny Machado lined out to a running Steven Moya in left field to end the inning. After three, the Tigers lead the Orioles 1-0.

Top 3rd: Tigers strand 2

The Tigers stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the top of the third. With one out, designated hitter Victor Martinez hit his second single of the game -- and his 10th in the last three, improving his average to .360 -- and center fielder Justin Upton doubled with two outs. However, left fielder Steven Moya struck out swinging to end the threat. After two and a half, the Tigers are still ahead 1-0.

Bottom 2nd: Pelfrey keeps rolling

Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey continued to roll in the bottom of the second. He walked Pedro Alvarez with two outs -- the first baserunner of the game for the Orioles, but Jonathan Schoop grounded out to third baseman Nick Castellanos to end the inning. After two, the Tigers remain ahead 1-0.

Top 2nd: Tigers load bases, don't score

The Tigers loaded the bases on Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez in the top of the second, on back-to-back singles from Steven Moya (his first of the year, through the shift) and Jose Iglesias, and a walk to Ian Kinsler, all with one out. However, that's all the Tigers did as J.D. Martinez grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. After one and a half, the Tigers maintain a 1-0 lead.

Bottom 1st: Pelfrey cruises

Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey cruised through the bottom of the first, needing only eight pitches to do so. After getting Joey Rickard and Manny Machado to ground out, he got Adam Jones to strike out swinging. After one, the Tigers lead 1-0.

Top 1st: Tigers jump out to early lead

The Tigers, thanks to Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez's consecutive walks of J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera had a pair of runners on base with only one out in the top of the first. Victor Martinez singled in J.D. Martinez, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead going to the bottom of the first. Run support has been an issue for Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey, who has yet to win a decision this season.

How to Watch: Tigers vs. Orioles

The Tigers open a four-game series against the Orioles Thursday at Camden Yards, having lost eight of their last nine games.

The latest setback was a 3-2 loss Wednesday to the Nationals as former Tiger Max Scherzer became only the third pitcher in major league history to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game.  The game ended with the Tigers’ hottest hitter Nick Castellanos in the on-deck circle as a pinch-hitter.

With the National League rules, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus sat the American League batting leader in order to get Victor Martinez into the lineup at first base since there is no designated hitter.

Despite the parent club’s swoon, there is help on the horizon. Left-hander Matt Boyd continues to make progress at Triple A Toledo and is a step closer to be being promoted.

In terms of promotions, outfielder Steven Moya was summoned from Toledo Thursday morning. Moya was hitting.310 with nine home runs and 24 RBIs. Left-handed reliever Blaine Hardy was sent down.

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. J.D. Martinez, RF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Nick Castellanos, 3B

6. Justin Upton, CF

7. Steven Moya, LF

8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Mike Pelfrey, P

ORIOLES LINEUP

1. Joey Rickard, LF

2. Manny Machado, SS

3. Adam Jones, CF

4. Chris Davis, 1B

5. Mark Trumbo, RF

6. Pedro Alvarez, DH

7. Jonathan Schoop, 2B

8. Ryan Flaherty, 3B

9. Caleb Joseph, C

Ubaldo Jimenez, P


TIGERS VS. ORIOLES

What: First of a four-game series

When: Thursday, 7:05 p.m.

Where: Camden Yards

Pitching matchup:  RHP Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 6.23) vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (2-3, 4.54)

Local TV: FSD

Internet streaming: MLB.TV

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: Sirius, SIRI (Internet 849)