Then the Orioles’ bled the Detroit Tigers bullpen with base hit after base hit while batting around in the seventh inning en route to a 7-5 comeback win before 14,918 on a warm night at Camden Yards.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop’s two-out two-run triple in that inning was the first three-bagger of his career, and gave the Orioles’ a 7-5 lead to complete a comeback that didn't appear to be in the cards for much of the game.
The Orioles (21-12) were held scoreless through five innings. They scored twice in the sixth and five times in the seventh to erase the 5-0 hole starter Ubaldo Jimenez dug them.
“We can turn the game quick like this,” Schoop said. “It’s not the first time we do it. We’ve done it a couple times already. This team is capable to do anything. Even though we’re down five, early we just stay in the game and make it nine innings.”
“What matters to me is that we won the game,” Jimenez said. “I’m not concerned about whether they’re going to talk about my pitching performance or anything like that. I’m here to be here for the team. That’s what matters to me. But it’s great that we won the game.”
Reliever Vance Worley (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings and closer Zach Britton converted his ninth save with a scoreless ninth.
Slow start: The Orioles offense came off the road scorching hot but took a while to get going Thursday against the Tigers.
Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey, who entered the game saddled with a 6.23 ERA and allowing just a shade under two base runners per inning this season, scattered five hits over 5 1/3 innings and kept the Orioles off the board until the sixth.
A single by Manny Machado, an RBI double by first baseman Chris Davis and an infield single by Schoop in the sixth inning pushed across two runs for the Orioles.
Otherwise, it was mostly futility. The Orioles didn't have their first man on base until a two-out walk by designated hitter Pedro Alvarez in the second inning, and catcher Caleb Joseph's third-inning single was the first hit they mustered in the game. There wouldn't be another until third baseman Ryan Flaherty and Joseph singled consecutively in the fifth, but they were both left on base when left fielder Joey Rickard struck out.
But the Orioles got the bats going an inning later.
Delayed but not denied: Once Pelfrey was out of the game, it was open season on the Tigers bullpen. Four straight singles by Rickard, Machado, center fielder Adam Jones and Davis off relievers Alex Wilson and Justin Wilson cut the Orioles' deficit to 5-4 in the seventh. Then designated hitter Pedro Alvarez tied the game at 5 with a two-out single before Schoop hit his first career major league triple, driving in two runs to give the Orioles a 7-5 lead. The Orioles batted around in the seventh.
Hit parade: Whenever the Orioles explode for a bunch of home runs as they did Wednesday, the parties involved say it's not an everyday thing. Thursday was one of those days. The Orioles had 12 hits, and 10 were singles.
Rarified error: In his 10th start and 12th overall game at shortstop this season, Machado committed his first error at the position in the sixth inning. He fielded a ground ball by speedy Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias deep in the hole, and appeared to have a tough time getting the ball out of his glove before sailing a throw that pulled Chris Davis off the bag.
Caleb catches fire: It isn't much, but since his 0-for-4 on May 4 against the New York Yankees, Joseph has been on a nice run. His two hits Thursday gave him his first multihit game since April 13 against the Boston Red Sox. He is 4-for-10 over his past four games.
Worley appears: Worley made the latest appearance out of his ever-changing bullpen role, pitching two innings and allowing four hits, with two runners inherited from Jimenez scoring in the sixth. Worley now has a 2.61 ERA on the season.