Carroll County Times

Cabrera, Tigers slam Orioles

BALTIMORE - The fourth inning of Saturday's game went as poorly as an inning could go for the Baltimore Orioles.

They gave up back-to-back-to-back home runs, had their starting pitcher Jason Hammel get ejected, and then gave up a fourth home run in an inning for the first time in franchise history, according to STATS. That home run also happened to be a grand slam by Miguel Cabrera.

The eight-run inning propelled the Detroit Tigers to a 10-3 victory before 38,945 at Camden Yards. Each of the first eight Tigers (30-24) to bat in the inning scored, as they sent 11 batters to the plate.

Hammel began the inning by giving up three straight solo home runs to Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, and Alex Avila. He then hit Matt Tuiasosopo and was quickly ejected.

The ball hit Tuiasosopo in the shoulder and then bounced off the ear flap of his helmet.

Hammel (7-3) and Baltimore manager Buck Showalter argued heavily with home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt following the ejection, but to no avail.

"I hit him with a slider, zero intent there to hit him," Hammel said. "I'm not the guy that answers getting hit around with hitting somebody. That's bush league, if you ask me.

"I did not have command today. The three walks before that in the two innings with zero putaway pitches today should have told him the story."

The pitch registered at 82 mph on the stadium radar gun, and resulted in Hammel's first career ejection.

Crew chief Jerry Layne said no warnings needed to be given and the correct call was made.

"Three home runs and a guy gets hit, you're an umpire, what do you do?" Layne said. "That's when we feel we have to control the game and to control the game to keep a retaliation from occurring."

Showalter said he felt the move came rather quickly.

"I felt like after three home runs that's a real quick decision," Showalter said. "Ham had probably 10 to 12 balls slip out of his hand today, breaking ball. It's tough on umpires trying to judge intent, but they get a lot of pressure from the Major League offices."

Added Hammel: "That was the quickest toss I've ever seen. It was almost immediate. He didn't even have time to assess the situation."

The Orioles right-hander gave up five runs on five hits in three innings, a start after going eight innings and just giving up two runs against the Nationals on Monday.

Hammel said the difference was his command not being as well, and didn't want to blame it on the hot weather.

"I'm not going to make excuses, it was obviously worse than the last two [outings]," Hammel said. "When you don't hit the glove where you're expecting to and you're up in the zone, that's what happens against good hitting ballclubs."

Reliever T.J. McFarland wasn't able to stop the bleeding in the fourth. The left-handed long reliever gave up a single to Avisail Garcia and an RBI double to Omar Infante before walking Andy Dirks to load the bases with no outs. Cabrera then delivered his 17th homer of the season and fourth career grand slam.

McFarland, like Hammel, gave up five runs on five hits in three innings.

Detroit starter Justin Verlander (7-4) continued his dominance against the Orioles. He pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and improved to 8-0 in 13 starts in his career against Baltimore and 6-0 at Camden Yards.

J.J. Hardy provided most of the offense for Baltimore. He led off both the third and fifth innings with solo home runs to left, marking the 10th multi-homer game of his career.

Hardy said the deep early deficit hurt, but is more focused on winning the rubber game of the series today.

"It's tough obviously to come back, but not that we didn't try," Hardy said. "Now we've got to go get the third [game]."