Tigers hand Orioles first loss of the seasonApr 7, 2011 - 4:12 AM
Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez each had solo shots for the Tigers, who recorded just their second win of the season and evened the three-game series a one apiece with Baltimore.
Justin Verlander (1-0) nearly went the distance, going eight innings and allowing just three runs on four hits while fanning nine batters.
"I don't want to get too excited, but I'm definitely throwing the ball better than I have at this point the last couple of years," Verlander said.
Derrek Lee had a two-run homer for the Orioles, who were trying to open the season with five straight wins for the first time since 1970.
Jeremy Guthrie was supposed to take the hill following his brilliant eight- scoreless inning effort on Opening Day, but he was checked into the hospital Monday after feeling ill and was diagnosed with pneumonia,
So instead it was swingman Brad Bergesen (0-1) getting the call, lasting just 3 2/3 innings after giving up four runs -- two earned -- on five hits.
"It seems like I went deep counts with everyone today," Bergesen said. "My pitch count got really high -- that part I'm really unhappy with."
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead on a two-out second-inning rally. Brennan Boesch reached on Brian Roberts' fielding error and Jhonny Peralta followed up with walk. Boesch advanced to third on a pickoff attempt error to put runners on the corners.
Avila then blasted a double off the right-field wall, which brought home both runners.
In the fourth, Avila doubled the Detroit edge with a towering home run over the right-field scoreboard. His first home run of the season also scored Martinez, who led off the inning with a single into right field.
Baltimore halved its deficit on one swing of the bat from Lee in the home half. Nick Markakis drew a walk just before Lee launched the two-run shot to right, making it 4-2.
The Tigers answered right back, though, during the top of the fifth with back-to-back solo shots with two outs from Cabrera and Martinez.
The Orioles got a run back in the sixth when Vladimir Guerrero hit a single to score Roberts, but was tagged out at second to end the inning.
Avila struck again in the eighth for his fifth and final RBI, knocking in Ryan Raburn on a ground ball up the middle for a 7-3 lead.
"It feels good to string some good hits together," Avila said. "But really it comes down to us just getting a win."
Verlander improved to 6-0 against the Orioles...Baltimore came into he game outscoring its opponents by a 17-4 margin...The two teams split their 10 matchups last season...Martinez had three hits -- a triple away from a the cycle -- in the win...Guerrero had two of the four Baltimore hits.
- DETROIT: 7
Apr 6 10:00 PM
- Alex Avila singled to center scored Ryan Raburn. Runner on first with one out and Brandon Inge due up.
Tigers 7, Orioles 3 Top 8, 1 OutApr 6 9:28 PM
- Vladimir Guerrero single to right scored Brian Roberts to end the inning.
Tigers 6, Orioles 3 End 6Apr 6 9:02 PM
- Victor Martinez solo Home Run (2) to right center with two out. Brennan Boesch due up.
Tigers 6, Orioles 2 Top 5, 2 OutsApr 6 8:34 PM
- Derrek Lee one-out, two-run Home Run (1) to right scored Nick Markakis. Vladimir Guerrero due up.
Tigers 4, Orioles 2 Bot 4, 1 OutApr 6 8:19 PM
- Alex Avila two-out, two-run Home Run (1) to right scored Victor Martinez. Brandon Inge due up.
Tigers 4, Orioles 0 Top 4, 2 OutsApr 6 8:09 PM
- Alex Avila double to right scored Brennan Boesch and Jhonny Peralta. Runner on second with two outs and Brandon Inge due up.
Tigers 2, Orioles 0 Top 2, 2 OutsApr 6 7:37 PM
- Austin Jackson flied out to right. None on with one out and Will Rhymes due up.
Apr 6 7:08 PM
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