Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Well, it’s been quite an entertaining couple of days in Baltimore for the Detroit Tigers. After a game on Monday night saw a late homer and a bench clearing
discussion, Tuesday night saw an incredible come-from-behind victory for the Tigers, roaring back to life after being down to their last strike. The Tigers and Orioles wrap up their season series this afternoon with Detroit looking for the sweep.
Detroit Tigers (23-12) at Baltimore Orioles (20-17) — 12:35 PM EDT
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
TV: FSD, MLB Network
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 68 degrees, cloudy
When We Last Met
Ubaldo Jimenez totally befuddled Tigers’ batters for seven innings on Monday, something he rarely accomplished while wearing a Cleveland Indians’ uniform from 2011-13. Drew Smyly allowed a first inning solo homer and consistently worked in and out of trouble through the first four innings, but hit his stride and slammed the door on the Orioles’ offense. Ninth inning drama began when Alex Avila notched a hit into left, taking advantage of Baltimore’s shift. Rajai Davis pinch ran, stole second (after being called out and reversed upon replay). Two batters later, the Tigers had failed to advance Davis when Torii Hunter came back from a 1-2 count to earn a rare walk. Then Miguel Cabrera stepped to the plate and gave the Tigers their first offense of the day, a three-run shot. Victor Martinez provided another homer right after, sending the ball to the stratosphere. Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth and the Tigers won 4-1.
For a team that has scored just two runs in the entire series, the Baltimore Orioles have to be just thrilled to see Justin Verlander (4-2, 2.67) on the mound this afternoon. J.V. has been both great in his career against the Orioles (8-2) and in day games. He faced Baltimore in Detroit in early April and was the hard-luck loser, allowing just two earned runs on five hits over eight innings of a 3-1 Tigers loss. Run support has been an issue for Verlander this year. He was stellar in his last outing, going seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, but took the loss in a 2-1 Twins victory last Friday.
The original Orioles’ starter for this game was Wei-Yin Chen, but Buck Showalter chose to pass up Chen in the series because of the Tigers’ American League-leading.293 average against left-handers. Instead, he’ll turn to top prospect Kevin Gausman for his first start of 2014. Drafted in 2012 out of LSU, the 23-year-old will face the daunting task of being the stopper for his team. Gausman pitched in 20 games for Baltimore in 2013, starting five, posting a 3-5 record with a 5.66 ERA. One of those wins came on June 2 against the Tigers when he allowed just one run over six innings.
Brad Ausmus appears to be emptying the bench before the day off on Thursday, starting Holaday, Kelly, J.D. Martinez and Worth.
- Rajai Davis-LF
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- J.D. Martinez-RF
- Austin Jackson-CF
- Don Kelly-3B
- Bryan Holaday-C
- Danny Worth-SS
- Anibal Sanchez – 15-day DL
- Luke Putkonen – 15-day DL
- Joel Hanrahan – 15-day DL
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – 60-day DL
- Bruce Rondon – Out for the season