I’ve been saving that one.
Willie Eyre made his Orioles debut tonight, relieving left-hander Troy Patton with two runners on base and one out in the top of the eighth. The Tigers were looking to build on their 5-4 lead. Eyre was looking to make a good first impression.
He made a great one.
Eyre kept pumping four-seam fastballs, and he escaped the jam by striking out Magglio Ordonez and retiring Miguel Cabrera on a fly ball to center field.
Eyre’s fastball hit 93 mph on three occasions. He struck out Ordonez on a 92-mph heater.
Cabrera put a foul ball into the second deck before flying out.
I forgot to mention earlier that Eyre is wearing No. 50. Sorry.
Patton was charged with one run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out one. He threw 39 pitches, 27 for strikes.
The run scored on a ground ball up the middle from Andy Dirks, who has a career-high four hits tonight. Not a bad pitch.
Patton’s stock is on the rise. There’s no doubt about it. Manager Buck Showalter gave him an encouraging pat on the back after taking the ball, and I bet he singles out Patton in his postgame remarks to the media.
This game should be tied in the bottom of the eighth, but Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson robbed Adam Jones of a home run with a leaping grab at the fence.
Down on the farm, Jake Fox hit his 11th home run tonight for Triple-A Norfolk.
Single-A Frederick’s Jonathan Schoop is 3-for-4 with a double, his fourth home run and three RBIs.
Update: Tigers closer Jose Valverde walked Matt Wieters to open the bottom of the ninth. Felix Pie pinch-ran and stole second as Chris Davis struck out. Pie moved to third on Robert Andino’s fly ball to deep center field, but Nolan Reimold struck out.
Valverde spun around and pounded his chest multiple times.
The Orioles were 10-1 at home in one-run games, but they’ve lost four on this homestand.
Eyre didn’t allow a run in 1 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out one.
He also took a ball off his foot that deflected to Davis, who made a sensational diving catch.