A tight wild-card race gives many teams, like the Orioles, optimism at the deadline. Still, every game is undoubtedly important. And after falling behind by seven runs in the fourth inning Thursday against the Tigers, the Orioles rallied to within one run before their comeback fell just short in a 9-8 loss in front of an announced 30,136 on a muggy night at Camden Yards.
The Orioles hit two homers and then battered the Detroit Tigers bullpen for an eight-run eighth inning -- turning a one-run game into an all-out rout in a 12-3 win in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
After Tommy Hunter's struggles in the ninth inning Tuesday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn't offer the most ringing endorsement Wednesday that Hunter would pitch if a save opportunity arises in the series finale against the Detroit Tigers at Camden Yards.
When Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander threw a 94-mph fastball behind designated hitter Nelson Cruz in the fourth inning, it injected life into the sleepy Orioles offense. But it still wasn't enough as the Orioles lost, 7-5, in front of an announced 36,727 at Camden Yards.
The Tigers got the best of Kevin Gausman in his first start of the season. The right-hander gave up five earned runs in four innings as Detroit (24-12) jumped out to a 5-0 lead and went on to beat the Orioles (20-18), 7-5, in the series finale at Camden Yards.
A crisp, well-played pitchers¿ duel between two first-place teams imploded horribly in the ninth for the Orioles when playing-with-fire closer Tommy Hunter served up two, two-out homers to hand the Tigers a 4-1 victory.
The 29-year-old right-hander lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up a career-high-tying seven earned runs, a total reached just twice before in his career, the last time on Aug. 30, 2013 at Yankee Stadium.
As Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette sat in his office at the Ed Smith Stadium complex on a sunny afternoon earlier this month, overlooking a well-manicured cloverleaf of fields, a bitter winter seemed like an eternity ago in more ways than one.
As the regular season winds down, the Orioles insist they aren't sneaking glances at the out-of-town scoreboard in right field of Camden Yards to see how the division-leading New York Yankees are doing.
The Orioles' regular season is whittled down to 8 games following Monday¿s single-admission doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards. And the O's chances of catching the division-leading New York Yankees are steadily dwindling.
A night after designated hitter Chris Davis became the 19th Oriole in franchise history to hit three homers in a game, catcher Matt Wieters accomplished something a lot less explosive but even more rare on Saturday.