Bullpen implodes, costs Tillman win and Orioles' sweep
By Jeff Zrebiec
Sep 12, 2010 | 11:44 AM
The Orioles took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning today at Comerica Park, but by the time the frame was over, they trailed 6-2. That was the final score as the Detroit Tigers rallied to prevent the three-game sweep.
The Orioles finished the road trip with a 4-2 record and both of their losses came when relievers couldn't hold a lead late in the game. Koji Uehara blew the first one on Wednesday in New York, allowing a game-ending, two-run homer to Nick Swisher.
Today, Michael Gonzalez and David Hernandez combined to cough up the lead, and then Alfredo Simon allowed the game to get out of reach.
Gonzalez allowed the first two batters that he faced in the decisive eighth to reach with Will Rhymes hitting a single and Ryan Raburn connecting for a double. Orioles manager Buck Showalter then brought David Hernandez into the game to face pinch hitter Austin Jackson. He walked him to load the bases, a huge mistake because it meant that Hernandez had to pitch to A.L. RBI leader Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera promptly lined Hernandez's first pitch into the gap to clear the bases. Brandon Inge then made it a five-run inning with a two-run homer off Alfredo Simon.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman allowed just one run and one hit over 6 2/3 innings, but he did walk six in the no decision. Detroit's Justin Verlander got the win, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out 11 over eight innings.