Tag Archive: Orioles

Thoughts on Game 6 of 162

Tigers reliever Enrique Gonzalez walks back to the dugout after being pulled in the seventh inning Thursday. Gonzalez gave up three earned runs in 2/3 an inning. (AP)

Brad Penny bounced back from his rough debut with a decent start for the Tigers. He kept Detroit in the game and was pulled after giving up the game-tying two-run homer to Adam Jones in the sixth. It was the bullpen that failed the Tigers as their season-opening road trip ended with a disappointing loss to the Orioles. Detroit is 2-4 on the road – an area they desperately need to improve if they have hopes of winning the AL Central this year. The bullpen surrendered five runs in the seventh to help the Orioles rally to the win.

Hero: Adam Jones
Jones hit the game-tying two-run homer that chased Penny from the game in the sixth and then drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to center field during the five-run seventh inning.

Key points: After the Tigers surrendered the lead in the sixth, they immediately responded in the seventh as Austin Jackson had an RBI double that plated Alex Avila for the go-ahead run. However, Baltimore responded in its half of the seventh with Mark Reynolds coming up with a two-RBI double off Enrinque Gonzalez that helped push Baltimore’s lead to 8-5. Reynolds’ hit was probably the biggest during the five-run seventh.

Penny thoughts: Penny was doomed by the two home runs he gave up. Other than that and his three walks to three strikeout ratio, the start wasn’t terrible and a step in the right direction. He was two outs away from a quality start until Jones’ home run ended that and knocked him from the contest.

Staying hot: Brennan Boesch has taken some at-bats away from Ryan Raburn with his hot start. Boesch had two hits, including a double, and an RBI in Thursday’s loss ans is batting .421 so far this season. He has five RBIs this season. Raburn was expected to see most of the playing time in left field this season, but with Boesch’s hot bad those plans have altered. Raburn, who isn’t in Friday’s lineup, did also play on Thursday and went 0 for 4. … Alex Avila followed his career-high five RBI performance on Wednesday by hitting a homer in Thursday’s game. He is tied with Miguel Cabrera for the team lead with seven RBIs.

Tablesetter struggles: Austin Jackson and Will Rhymes haven’t been getting on base much through the first six games of the season. Jackson is batting .200 and Rhymes just .111. Jackson did show signs of life with his two hits in the series finale, including the clutch double in the seventh inning that broke the then 4-4 tie. Rhymes had a nice lengthy at-bat in the opening inning but other than that nothing. Will be interesting to see how much of a leash the Tigers will have if his struggles continue. It still is early, but if Scott Sizemore or Danny Worth get off to hot starts in Toledo this situation bears watching.

Up next: Kansas City, 3 p.m. Friday


Thoughts on Game 5 of 162

Power surge: Alex Avila (right) hit a two-run homer and had five RBIs to lead the Tigers to a 7-3 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night. (AP)

Key players: Alex Avila and Justin Verlander

It was nice to see Alex Avila’s bat come to life. The Tigers catcher had quite the game and was a huge reason behind Detroit winning for the second time in its last three games. Avila had a key two-out, two-RBI double in the second inning that got the Tigers on the board, added a two-run home run that he crushed to right field in the fourth inning and then had a key RBI hit in the eighth that provided the Tigers with a key insurance run. Four of Avila’s five RBIs came with two outs. The catcher also stole a base

Verlander had another quality start (when a pitcher lasts  at least six innings and gives up three or fewer earned runs) for the Tigers, giving up just three runs in eight innings while striking out nine. He is the only Detroit starter to have logged a quality start this season.

Key sequence: Avila concluded a lengthy at-bat in the second inning with a key two-out double in the second inning was the key to the contest. Brennan Boesch and Jhonny Peralta had each reached safely with two outs because of errors and the Tigers had to take advantage of the opportunity. They cashed in with Avila’s clutch hit.

Heating up: Victor Martinez had his best game of the season, going 3 for 5 with a solo home run and two runs scored. Heading into Wednesday’s game, the DH/catcher was hitting .176 with one homer through the Tigers’ first four contests. He followed Miguel Cabrera’s solo homer run (his third long ball of the season) with a solo homer of his own. It provided one of our first glimpses this season of how dangerous the middle of the Tigers lineup can be..

Grounded birds: Wednesday marked the first contest this season where the Orioles had allowed more than one run. Baltimore (4-1) had only given up four runs in its four games and the Tigers (2-3) nearly doubled that total in Wednesday’s game. Orioles starter Brad Bergeson only lasted 3 2/2 innings, giving up five hits and four runs (two earned).

Up next: at Baltimore, 7 p.m. Thursday

Thoughts on Game 4 of 162

Is it time to break up the Orioles? Baltimore stayed undefeated on the young season, using pitching and a key home run to earn a 5-1 victory over the Tigers in their home opener on Monday afternoon.

Jake Arrieta held the Tigers to just six hits and one run over six innings to lead Baltimore to a 5-1 victory on Monday. (AP)

Heroes: Jake Arrieta / Brian Roberts

These two were the biggest keys to the victory for the Orioles. Arrieta added to Baltimore’s strong pitching this season, giving up just one earned run in six innings. Arrieta gave up six hits, walked two and struck out three. The Tigers had a few early chances, but stranded two runners on base in each the third and fourth innings.

Roberts put Baltimore in control as his three-run homer with no outs in the fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie.

Key points: Roberts three-run blast was obviously a turning point in the contest, but the other key sequence came in the third inning. The Tigers already had scored one run in the third and had a chance for more with Austin Jackson on third and Will Rhymes on second with two outs and reigning American League RBI champion Miguel Cabrera at the plate. Cabrera, who it was later revealed had been throwing up between innings during the contest, flied out to left to end the threat.

Stuck on one: Baltimore has allowed just one run in each of its games this season and has gotten quality starts from each of its starters so far this season. Arrieta continued that trend with his outing, following in the steps of Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman and rookie Zach Britton.

In the air: While one pitch doomed Tigers starter Rick Porcello on Monday, he struggled to get many ground ball outs like he is accustomed to. In fact he only got one ground ball out in his 5 inning outing. He gave up nine hits and five earned runs.

Not quality: With the Tigers completing their first turn through their rotation (No. 5 starter Phil Coke won’t be joining until next week) they got just one quality start from their starting pitching. A 25 percent ratio isn’t good if the Tigers hope to compete for the AL Central crown. Justin Verlander had the lone quality start through the first turn in the rotation.¬† Tigers starters have also given up seven homers this season – three of those being three-run shots.

Looking at the positive: Sunday’s day off benefited Will Rhymes, who went 2 for 3 in Monday’s loss. He was the only Tiger with multiple hits, had his first career stolen base and drove in the team’s lone run.

Up next: At Baltimore, 7 p.m. Wednesday