DETROIT - Justin Verlander always beats the Baltimore Orioles. That's not unusual because Verlander has been one of baseball's best in recent years. Tuesday night was different.
J.J. Hardy hit a two-run home run, Adam Jones a three-run shot and Zach Britton pitched into the sixth inning as the Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 before 34,706 at Comerica Park.
Hardy homered twice against Verlander on June 1, and with the two home runs he allowed Tuesday, he'd given up just seven this year, four to Baltimore.
Verlander (8-5) had won his first eight games in his career against the Orioles. He was finished after five innings when he allowed five runs on seven hits.
"I guess it shows you we're a different club, but for us I didn't know that stat or anything. I'm sure a lot of the guys in this clubhouse didn't know, so we didn't go into the game thinking that we don't have a chance. It's nice to beat [them] any time you're facing a guy like Verlander, it's nice to get a win for sure," Hardy said.
Hardy hit his two-run home run, his 14th, in the fourth and Jones hit his 15th of the year in the fifth, and Britton (1-1), who was called up from Norfolk to start because Jason Hammel was unavailable due to lingering effects from a stomach virus, had a nice lead.
"Not many people have success against Verlander in the first place," Jones said. "Whatever you can get off that guy is a plus because he's a very stingy pitcher out there."
Britton allowed one run on five hits in 5 1-3. Matt Tuiasosopo hit a fifth-inning home run to give Detroit (39-30) its first run. Britton walked three and struck out one.
"It's definitely a step in the right direction, but I don't think it was fantastic. I can definitely improve on some things," Britton said.
Manager Buck Showalter wouldn't commit to giving Britton another start, but was impressed with what he saw.
"That's a tough lineup for a lefthander to go through," Showalter said.
After Britton left, Darren O'Day, Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter and Jim Johnson combined to allow a run on four hits in 3 2-3 innings.
In the seventh, the Orioles (41-31) had a scary moment. After three consecutive singles to start the inning, the Tigers cut the lead to 5-2. Torii Hunter bounced to third. Manny Machado appeared to start a double play with a tag of Brayan Pena, but second base umpire Laz Diaz said Machado didn't tag him.
Fortunately for Baltimore, O'Day got Miguel Cabrera to pop out for the second out, and Matusz retired Prince Fielder on another pop to end the inning.
Johnson retired Cabrera on a double play to end the game and record his 26th save.
NOTES: The Orioles purchased the contract of Travis Ishikawa from Norfolk. He was the designated hitter and went 0 for 4. Ishikawa was signed to a minor league contract in December and exercised an opt-out clause. Ishikawa, who is a .264 career hitter in five major league seasons with San Francisco and Milwaukee, had his path back to the big leagues blocked at first base by Chris Davis. "He already had, what 10 home runs before we even started a game," Ishikawa said. "You look at what Chris has done this year. I can't be upset. We play the same position. He's the MVP of the league right now. When you're behind a guy like that, you can't expect to be getting a call sooner rather than later." Ishikawa, who batted .316 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs for Norfolk, replaces Miguel Gonzalez on the active roster for now. Gonzalez was placed on the paternity list after the birth of a baby daughter, Leah, on Monday night. Gonzalez will be reinstated on Friday, and Baltimore will have to make another roster move. ... To make room for Ishikawa on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated infielder Yamaico Navarro for assignment. Navarro, who's been playing at Norfolk, hit .286 in nine games with Baltimore. ... Hammel, scratched from this series because of the virus, will probably pitch either Friday or Saturday in Toronto, Showalter said. Gonzalez will pitch the day Hammel doesn't.