The Detroit Tigers continued their average season on Saturday, falling back to an even .500 with a loss to the Orioles, 3-0. Baltimore starter Chris Tillman and closer Zach Britton combined to hold the Tigers to just one hit.
Tillman was outstanding as he retired the last 23 Tigers batters he faced. For the first time this season, Tillman pitched into the eighth inning. He threw eight shutout frames, allowing one hit and one walk in the first inning.
The lone Tigers hit came from second baseman Ian Kinsler in the first at-bat of the game. He advanced to second on left fielder Yoenis Cespedes‘ groundout, and after designated hitter Victor Martinez walked, Kinsler advanced to third on a wild pitch.
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The Tigers managed zero base runners the rest of the game.
That’s too bad too because the offense spoiled a great start from ace David Price. The left-hander allowed just one run on six hits in seven frames. Price could have gone deeper in the game if not for a high pitch count due to striking out 12 batters, which tied a season-high.
Price’s biggest mistake came in third inning against Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. In a 1-1 count, Machado hit a solo homer, which was his 20th of the season.
Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones just barely missed his only solo homer in the sixth, doubling off the top of the wall in left field. Despite no outs, Jones didn’t score as Price struck out the next two batters and induced a groundout after a Castellanos error.
The Orioles scored their final two runs in the ninth off of Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon. The right-hander came into the ninth with one out, bases empty and retired just one of the first five batters he faced. Catcher Caleb Joseph hit a bloop single in front of a diving Anthony Gose that scored a pair.
Machado struck again in the next at-bat with a double to right field, but the Tigers avoided any further damage because it was ruled a ground-rule double that kept Joseph at third. Rondon finally ended the frame with strike out.
With the loss, Detroit falls to 45-45 on the season, which is the same record as Baltimore. The teams will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday. Tigers’ Justin Verlander and Orioles’ Miguel Gonzalez are the probable starters.