The 2014 baseball season has come to an end for the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers were swept by the Baltimore Orioles, losing 2-1 in Game Three of the ALDS. After a stunning loss in Game Two, the Tigers could not rebound on Sunday at Comerica Park. The Baltimore Orioles outplayed the Tigers in the series and will now advance to the ALCS to face the winner of the Angels/Royals series.
Detroit’s hitters had no answer for Baltimore’s pitching this afternoon. Making his first career postseason start, Bud Norris went 6.1 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and two walks. The Tigers were only able to muster two hits off Norris. The Tigers did not fare much better against the bullpen of the Orioles. Detroit did mount a comeback attempt in the bottom of the ninth inning, but were not able to break through. David Price pitched well enough to come away with the win, allowing two runs on five hits in eight innings. Detroit’s bats were just not able to pick him up on this day.
The first scoring chance in the game in the bottom of the second inning. Alex Avila doubled to left field with one out and then advanced to third on a Nick Castellanos sacrifice fly. With two outs, Andrew Romine dropped a nice bunt down the first base line and looked to be safe, but was called out on the play. Brad Ausmus challenged the ruling on the field, but somehow the call stood up. After looking at the replays, it did look like Romine touched the base before the ball hit the back of the first baseman’s glove.
The Tigers had another glorious scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third with two runners on and Victor Martinez coming to the plate. Victor ended up popping out to short center field, ending the threat. The Tigers would not get another hit until the ninth inning.
Baltimore’s only offense of the game came via Tiger-killer Nelson Cruz‘s two run home run off David Price in the top of sixth inning. Cruz just got enough of an outside pitch to send it over the 330 foot sign in the right field corner. The two runs would be all the Orioles needed in Game Three to clinch the series.
The Tigers started the bottom of the ninth inning strong with back-to-back doubles from Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez. The Tigers were set-up with a runner on second base and no outs, trailing 2-1. After Bryan Holaday struck out, reliever Zach Britton intentionally walked Nick Castellanos. Hernan Perez, who only had five at bats during the regular season, was called on to pinch hit for Andrew Romine. Perez stepped to the plate and promptly grounded into a game ending double play.
Well that’s it Tiger fans. After an up and down year, Detroit’s season has come to an end. This team had so much potential, but couldn’t put it all together when it counted the most. This series loss will sting for a while. We will wait to see what happens in the offseason as the Tigers continue to chase that elusive World Series ring.