Orioles roar back from down six to topple Tigers, 8-7, after eventful deadline

The Orioles' 8-7 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night wasn't the way you typically draw them up, but they couldn't argue with the result.

For the second straight night, the Tigers ran out to a big lead against the Orioles. And for the second straight night, the Detroit bullpen allowed the Orioles back into the game.


This time, the Orioles completed their comeback, battling back from a 6-0 deficit after the top of the fourth to score eight straight runs for their sixth win in seven games in front of an announced 36,985 at Camden Yards on Friday night.

On Thursday, the Orioles rallied from a seven-run deficit against the Tigers bullpen before losing, 9-8.


"We kind of dug ourselves a hole both nights," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We are a good offensive team and our guys found a way. It's tough, tough sledding. … There [were] a lot of big at-bats in there."

With the win, the Orioles are now one game behind the Minnesota Twins for the second American League wild card and are tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for second in the AL East. The Orioles remained six games out of first behind the division-leading New York Yankees.

"We need wins," catcher Matt Wieters said. "The [ideal] formula would be pitching, defense and timely hitting, but today we had to score some more runs. A win is a win is a win. We'll take as many in any win we can."

It was a day full of emotions as the Orioles were busy at the nonwaiver trade deadline. They welcomed new arrival Gerardo Parra, who was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers earlier in the day for pitching prospect Zach Davies and arrived in the Orioles dugout in the second inning of Friday's game. But minutes after the 4 p.m. deadline, players said goodbye to reliever Tommy Hunter, a clubhouse favorite and part of the team throughout its resurgence, after he was dealt to the Chicago Cubs for minor league outfielder Junior Lake. They also said goodbye to pitcher Bud Norris, a 15-game winner in 2014, and first baseman Chris Parmelee.

"It's a tough day to lose a couple of guys that we've been playing with," Wieters said. "At the same time, it's all part of the business of baseball. Once the lights go on, you have to be ready to play, no matter who's on the roster."

But early in Friday's game, it didn't look good for the Orioles. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen had his shortest start of the season, lasting just 3 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits. Right-hander Mike Wright, recalled from Triple-A before the game as an extra bullpen arm, then left the game after facing just three batters and could be heading to the disabled list with what the team suspects is a strained left calf.

The Orioles' charge back was led by the long ball. Jones' three-run homer off Tigers starter Buck Farmer in the fifth was his second homer in as many nights. And Manny Machado's two-run blast off reliever Jose Valdez (0-1) completed the comeback in the sixth, giving the Orioles a 7-6 lead.

Rookie right-hander Mychal Givens (1-0), called up from Double-A earlier in the day as part of the team's deadline-day roster shuffle, earned his first major league win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Wright. Givens retired five of the six hitters he faced.


"Words can't really say it," Givens said of getting his first career victory in his Camden Yards debut. "But just glad to have the win and glad that we got the win for the team and hopefully go back tomorrow and get another W."

Chen tied a career-high by allowing three homers, including back-to-back solo shots to open the fourth inning by catcher James McCann and first baseman Jefry Marte. His 3 1/3-inning outing tied the shortest of his career, matching his start on June 28, 2014 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"It's probably his low point with his command this year," Showalter said of Chen. "Matt was saying he hadn't seen him that wild in the strike zone. ... They were on him pretty good. We were trying to get a few innings out of him because it was kind of challenging down there."

The Tigers scored their first run three batters into the game on Ian Kinsler's RBI single and Marte hit a run-scoring double in the second. J.D. Martinez put Detroit up 4-0 with a two-run homer with two outs in the third.

Chen was yanked from the game one batter after allowing the back-to-back homers in the fourth. Chen has allowed 22 homers this season – tied for third-most in the American League - but 18 are solo shots.

"Those were some mistake pitches," Chen said of the home runs. "I tried to command those pitches on both sides of the plate, but I couldn't do it today. Fortunately today our hitters scored a lot of runs to come back and win the game. I have to try and learn from today's experience and make an adjustment. Hopefully I can do better next time."


The Orioles got on the scoreboard in the fourth when Wieters, who hit a one-out double earlier in the inning, scored on Ryan Flaherty's grounder that snuck past Marte at first base for an error.

In the Orioles' four-run fifth, Jones took Farmer deep for his 17th homer of the season. It was his 183rd homer as an Oriole, passing Ken Singleton for sole possession of seventh place on the franchise's all-time list.

It was also Jones' 100th home run at Camden Yards, as he joined Rafael Palmeiro (124) as the only players to hit 100 homers in the ballpark's history.

With the Orioles trailing 6-5 in the sixth, Machado took a 3-1 fastball from Valdez, who was making his major league debut, into the left-field seats for a two-run shot. His 22nd homer of the season gave the Orioles a 7-6 advantage. Later that inning, Chris Davis gave the Orioles a two-run lead with an RBI single to right off Valdez.

Perhaps the most important defensive play of the game occured in the seventh. With the Orioles up 8-6 and Jose Iglesias at first, Ian Kinsler doubled into the right-center field gap, but Jones slid to cut the ball off and Jonathan Schoop's relay throw home nabbed Iglesias at the plate.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus asked for a crew chief review, claiming Wieters blocked Iglesias' path to the plate, but the call was upheld. Kinsler scored one batter later off Chaz Roe on Victor Martinez's ground out, but the play at the plate halted what could have been a big inning for the Tigers.


That was the only run the Orioles bullpen allowed in 5 2/3 innings.

Darren O'Day, who struck out three in 1 1/3 scoreless innings, stranded a runner at second in the eighth, getting Rajai Davis to pop up to the catcher after Anthony Gose hit a two-out double.

Closer Zach Britton allowed a one-out single in the ninth to Kinsler, but retired the next two batters he faced, striking out Martinez to end the game for his 27th save in 28 opportunities.

"Darren and Zach, that part of the order to go out there, especially left-handed and get those people out before they score a run is really, really hard to do," Showalter said. "That's pretty impressive, him and Darren, especially with a guy like J.D. Martinez — twice he got a chance to tie us or beat us and we got outs there.

"We also need some things like Mychal or Mike Wright or whoever to kind of help out, too, which they did tonight. Thank goodness we brought both of them."