Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers defeated the Baltimore Orioles tonight by a score of 4-1. After a rain delay pushed the start of the game back thirty five minutes, Rick Porcello(W, 6-1, 3.22 ERA) came out strong yet again. He pitched to the minimum in the first, but ran into trouble in the second as J.J. Hardy singled and then scored when Steve Clevanger hit a tough but seemingly catchable fly ball that was mishandled by Rajai Davis. The second inning was extended again after a throwing error by Andrew Romine on a Delmon Young grounder, but Porcello stranded Young and only allowed the one run to score. Porcello recovered, and though he did allow a hit in each inning he pitched, save the sixth, he was solid and gave another fantastic performance. His final line: 6IP, 5H, 1R/ER, 0BB, 2K. To further illustrate Porcello’s pitch location, his ground-out:fly-out ratio in tonight’s start was 9:3.
Ian Krol pitched the seventh and gave up a deep, off the wall double to Clevanger but left him stranded. It’s of note that Clevanger, the lefty, doubled and then Krol retired two righties(Young and Jonathan Schoop) before getting lefty Nick Markakis to fly out and end the inning. Al Alburqurque took over in the eighth and retired the side in order with two strikeouts. Joe Nathan earned his eighth save of the season with a quick, painless, six pitch ninth inning
The Tigers’ offense was slow and sluggish through the first three innings, with all batters failing to reach a base in their first at bat against Bud Norris(L, 2-3, 3.98 ERA). Ian Kinsler singled to start the fourth, then quickly stole second base. He scored to tie the game at one on a Miguel Cabrera single, and then Miggy scored the go ahead run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Austin Jackson. The Tigers went one-two-three again in the fifth, and although Kinsler singled yet again to start the sixth, he was caught stealing second base and the Tigers were retired in order yet again. In the seventh inning, Victor Martinez led off with his second single of the game and was forced out at second on a Jackson ground out. During Nick Castellanos‘ at bat, Jackson attempted to steal second, and as Castellanos struck out, he barely brushed Orioles catcher Steve Clevanger as he was double pumping to throw to second, and was called for catcher interference and Jackson was out, ending the inning.
Alex Avila walked to start the eighth and scored when Kinsler(who went three for four, with one stolen base, one caught stealing, two RBI and a partridge in a pear tree on the night) hit a two out, two run homer to extend the Tigers’ lead to 4-1. Torii Hunter took a pitch to the ribs two pitches after Kinsler’s home run and took exception. Norris was ejected from the game, and the benches and bullpens emptied, but a brawl was avoided. Torii was clearly angered and continued jawing with Norris while he was in the dugout. Amid the confrontation, in what appeared to be an attempt to calm Hunter down, umpire Paul Nauert patted his face, which seemed both odd and off putting. Hunter kept his cool, but appeared upset and incredulous.
The Tigers play the Orioles again at Camden Yards tomorrow at 7:05pm with Drew Smyly(2-2, 2.96 ERA) and Ubaldo Jiminez(2-4, 4.73 ERA)