Through his first five outings in an Orioles uniform, right-hander Andrew Cashner showed a knack for avoiding the big inning despite allowing plenty of base runners.
He entered Saturday's start against the Detroit Tigers having stranded 85.9 percent of his base runners, the eighth-highest left-on-base percentage among qualified American League starters.
Cashner couldn't limit the damage Saturday, though, derailed by a four-run second inning that led to his shortest start of the season in the Orioles' 9-5 loss to the Tigers in front of an announced crowd of 20,896 at Camden Yards.
He lasted just four innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and three walks. The six earned runs Cashner allowed Saturday were his most since Sept. 12, 2016, a span of 37 starts.
The Orioles (7-20) failed to build much-needed momentum after beating Detroit, 6-0, in Friday's series opener and enter the final game of their nine-game homestand in danger of losing all three series. The Orioles are 4-10 at Camden Yards this season.
After Cashner (1-4) dodged danger in the first inning – he held the Tigers to just one run in the opening frame after allowing three of the first four batters to reach base – Detroit broke the game open in the second.
Cashner struck out James McCann looking with a sinker to open the inning, but then allowed the next three hitters to reach base. José Iglesias' one-out single started the rally. Iglesias stole second, No. 9 hitter Dixon Machado walked and Leonys Martín hit an RBI single.
Two batters later, after Cashner struck out Jeimer Candelario looking – again with a sinker – he left an 0-1 curveball over the plate to Miguel Cabrera, who took it the opposite way for a three-run homer onto the flag court in right field.
In the fourth inning, Cashner put two on with one out. Third baseman Danny Valencia's throwing error put the leadoff man on and Cashner walked Candelario.
Cabrera then shot a sinking line drive to left field that Craig Gentry dove after, but it skipped past him and to the left-field wall to score two runs and put the Orioles down 7-0.
The Orioles scored once in the fifth and four times in the seventh, but the Tigers added insurance runs in the seventh and ninth to seal the win.
Saturday's game marked the third time in the past four games that an Orioles started failed to get through the fifth inning. Before Chris Tillman's seven-inning scoreless outing Friday, both Alex Cobb and Dylan Bundy lasted just 4 2/3 innings Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, against the Tampa Bay Rays.