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Dirks leads Tigers past Orioles

Aug 13, 2011 - 3:46 AM Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Andy Dirks reached base five times and knocked in the go-ahead run to send the Detroit Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a three-game series at Camden Yards.

Dirks finished 4-for-4 with a walk, while Wilson Betemit was 3-for-4 and cracked a two-run homer for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who have won two in a row.

Brad Penny (8-9) gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings, taking his first win in four starts. Jose Valverde worked a scoreless ninth to earn his 34th save of the season and extend his franchise-record for consecutive save conversions in one year.

J.J. Hardy smacked two home runs and collected three RBI for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of their last 14 contests. Vladimir Guerrero added an RBI single.

Troy Patton (0-1) pitched 2 2/3 relief innings, and was tagged with the loss after giving up the decisive run.

Austin Jackson led off the Tigers sixth with a double to left and scampered home on an RBI single by Dirks to give Detroit a 5-4 lead. The visitors then squandered a chance to extend their edge by stranding runners on the corners in the top of the eighth.

"It's a team game and everybody has to do their part," Dirks said. "That's what makes a good ballclub. Everybody's just trying to fill a role and play good team baseball."

Guerrero singled to start the Orioles' eighth and Adam Jones blasted a ball deep to center but Jackson timed his leap perfectly and robbed Jones of what would have a go-ahead two-run homer.

"It was a heck of a play," Jones said of Jackson's grab. "He's turned himself into one of the best outfielders in the game and I'm a fan of his."

Baltimore had a shot to tie the game in the ninth against Valverde. Matt Wieters worked a leadoff walk and pinch-runner Felix Pie swiped second and moved to third on a Robert Andino fly out. Valverde bore down and fanned Nolan Reimold to end the game.

The Tigers opened the scoring in their first at-bat. Dirks worked a one-out walk and Magglio Ordonez singled to give the Tigers runners on first and second, then Miguel Cabrera followed with an RBI single. Detroit kept the inning going when Victor Martinez singled to load the bases but O's starter Alfredo Simon avoided trouble by getting Jhonny Peralta to ground into a 5-3 double play.

Baltimore answered back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning when Reimold drew a leadoff walk and Hardy cracked his 22nd home run of the season.

Alex Avila drew a one-out walk in the second and Betemit singled to put Tigers on the corners. Avila then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jackson to knot the game at two.

Detroit took the lead in the fourth when Avila singled and Betemit followed with his fifth homer of the season to give the Tigers a 4-2 advantage.

Baltimore fought back to tie the game at 4-4 in the fifth. Hardy smacked his second home run of the game deep to left to pull the Orioles within a run. Jones doubled two batters later and came around to score on an RBI single by Guerrero.

Game Notes

Prior to Friday's game, the Orioles selected the contract of pitcher Willie Eyre from Triple-A Norfolk...Hardy leads all American League shortstops with 23 home runs...The O's fell to 35-45 against right-handed starters this season...Detroit upped its mark to 20-14 against Baltimore since the 2007 season...Penny's record stands at 4-5 in 11 road starts this season...Wieters ripped his 20th double of the season in the fourth...It was Hardy's seventh career multi-homer game.

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    Tigers 5, Orioles 4  FinalAug 15 11:21 AM

  • DETROIT: 5

    Aug 12 10:20 PM

  • Andy Dirks singled to center scored Austin Jackson, advances to second on Adam Jones's throwing error. Runner on second with none out and Magglio Ordonez due up.

    Tigers 5, Orioles 4  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 12 9:08 PM
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    Tigers 5, Orioles 4  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 12 9:08 PM

  • Vladimir Guerrero singled to left scored Adam Jones. Runner on first with two outs and Mark Reynolds due up.

    Tigers 4, Orioles 4  Bot 5, 2 OutsAug 12 9:00 PM
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    Tigers 4, Orioles 4  Bot 5, 2 OutsAug 12 9:00 PM

  • J.J. Hardy one-out, solo Home Run 2 (23) to left. Nick Markakis due up.

    Tigers 4, Orioles 3  Bot 5, 1 OutAug 12 8:53 PM

  • Wilson Betemit none-out, two-run Home Run (5) to center scored Alex Avila. Austin Jackson due up.

    Tigers 4, Orioles 2  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 12 8:21 PM
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    Tigers 2, Orioles 2  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 12 8:20 PM

  • Austin Jackson sacrifice fly out to right scored Alex Avila. Runner on first with two outs and Andy Dirks due up.

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  • J.J. Hardy none-out, two-run Home Run (22) to left scored Nolan Reimold. Nick Markakis due up.

    Tigers 1, Orioles 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 12 7:23 PM
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  • Miguel Cabrera singled to left scored Andy Dirks. On the play, Magglio Ordonez advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Victor Martinez due up.

    Tigers 1, Orioles 0  Top 1, 1 OutAug 12 7:12 PM

  • DETROIT: 0
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    Aug 12 7:06 PM
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