Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has praised his team’s resilience throughout a 2019 season that Saturday reached 100 losses. The 100th was one of the toughest, with two late leads disappearing and the final blow delivered on the Detroit Tigers’ walk-off grand slam. But Sunday, even the rain falling over Comerica Park couldn’t dampen Baltimore’s ability to respond.

In a game that included a 39-minute rain delay in the sixth inning, the Orioles beat the Tigers, 8-2, leaving one game remaining in this series between the teams with the two worst records in major league baseball. Rio Ruiz, who was positioned to be Saturday’s hero after a go-ahead single in the top of the 12th, delivered another tiebreaking hit, this time a two-run home run that held up.


“We’ve been in a lot of tough ballgames,” Ruiz said. "Sometimes, the other team’s just one hit better than us, and that was the thing last night. It’s huge for us to come back today and do what we did.”

Thanks to victories in two of the series’ first three games, the Orioles (49-100) lead the Tigers by 4½ games with 13 games left, poised to avoid what would be a second straight season holding the majors’ worst mark. Such notions could have again floated through their minds Saturday night, after they were one out from winning in the ninth and two outs from winning in the 12th only to lose by four. But they followed that defeat with Sunday’s victory.

“We’ve had so many tough losses, and last night was definitely one of them," Hyde said. "To be able to come out and continue to play with great energy and continue to play hard and compete, I think this says a lot about the character of our guys.”

The Orioles trailed again three batters into the bottom of the first Sunday, with the Tigers (44-104) scoring off Asher Wojciechowski with a single by Harold Castro and double by Jordy Mercer. But the Orioles answered with three singles from the first four batters they sent to the plate against old friend Edwin Jackson in the second.

The Tigers went back ahead by opening the bottom half with three straight hits off Wojciechowski, who was pitching on two days of extra rest after the Orioles felt he needed a slight break after his previous start. But that second-inning run was the last he allowed as the Orioles rallied.

Baltimore struck for three runs in the top of the third, all coming with two outs. Dwight Smith Jr. tripled and scored on Hanser Alberto’s bunt single to the left side to tie the game. Ruiz followed with the go-ahead home run, his sixth in 26 games since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Aug. 10. He hit five in 89 games before his late-July demotion.

“Rio’s really been swinging the bat well the last couple weeks,” Hyde said. “He’s really driving the ball, he’s starting to tap into his power a little bit and saw that again today.”

Stationed to a lead, Wojciechowski settled in. He retired eight of the final nine he faced, with the Orioles adding two more runs in the sixth on a single by Jonathan Villar, and was due to pitch the bottom of the sixth when umpires paused the game because of rain.

“I wanted to go back out and get through six, but it is what it is," Wojciechowski said. "The rain started. It was raining pretty heavy. Went back out there, the mound was pretty wet. Nothing I could do there.”

The delay ended Wojciechowski’s afternoon after 84 pitches. With Hyde striving to avoid relievers who pitched in the first two games of the series, Evan Phillips, Tanner Scott, Dillon Tate and Tayler Scott followed the rain with four scoreless innings.

Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander ended an 0-for-27 skid with a two-run single in the eighth.

“[The bullpen’s performance] was really nice obviously and then the tack-on runs, too, to give us a little bit of a breather," Hyde said. "Something we talked a lot about, it’s not one of our strong suits this year is when we get a lead to continue and extend them and give our bullpen a little bit of a cushion. And we did that tonight.”

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