Hammel served up back-to-back-to-back home runs to Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila to open the top of the fourth inning, giving Detroit a 4-1 lead. His next pitch sliced near Matt Tuiasosopo’s head, hitting the Tigers left fielder on the left shoulder, and plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt immediately ejected him.
Hammel threw his arms in the air and raced to the plate to confront Wendelstedt. Showalter tried to restrain him, placing his body between Hammel and Wendelstedt, while also taking up the argument.
It’s the first career ejection for Hammel, who was charged with five runs after reliever T.J. McFarland allowed a single to No. 9 hitter Avisail Garcia and an RBI double to Omar Infante.
Hammel allowed five hits in three-plus innings, with three walks, no strikeouts, three home runs and one hit batter. He threw 63 pitches, 32 for strikes in his shortest outing of the season. The three home runs are a season high.
The pitch that hit Tuiasosopo was an 82 mph slider. Hammel had no command today. It’s highly doubtful that he wanted to hit Tuiasosopo, which must have been the theme of his argument.
If you think Hammel’s upset, imagine how I feel having to write Tuiasosopo and Wendelstedt multiple times today.
McFarland couldn’t limit the damage. Andy Dirks walked and Miguel Cabrera hit his fourth career grand slam to give Detroit a 9-1 lead. Left fielder Nate McLouth didn’t budge.
Cabrera has 200 home runs as a Tiger. Probably more to come.
The Tigers sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.
The Tigers hadn’t hit back-to-back-to-back homers since June 24, 2001. Who knew that what happened next would be more newsworthy?
Before today, the biggest inning against the Orioles occurred on May 18, when Tampa Bay scored six runs.
J.J. Hardy led off the bottom of the third inning with his 11th home run to tie the game 1-1. Then it got weird. And we said it wouldn’t get weird.
Update: Hardy went deep again in the fifth for the 10th multi-homer game of his career.
Hardy is now 6-for-27 against Tigers starter Justin Verlander.
Chris Davis had an RBI single in the fourth, as the Orioles attempt to chip away at the lead. The Tigers are ahead 9-3 and Jose Valverde is warming in the bullpen.
OK, I’m kidding about that last part.
The fourth inning inning today was the first time the Orioles allowed four home runs in a single inning in franchise history, according to STATS.
Update II: Prince Fielder homered off McFarland in the sixth to give the Tigers a 10-3 lead.
The Orioles hadn’t allowed five homers in a game since Aug. 28, 2011 vs. the Yankees in the nightcap of a doubleheader.
McFarland has been charged with five runs and five hits in three innings, with two walks, two strikeouts and two home runs.
McFarland hadn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his first 12 appearances before today.
Update III: Chris Dickerson was unable to deliver a walk-off eight-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, and the Orioles lost to the Tigers 10-3.
Matt Wieters led off the ninth with a double and Hardy walked against Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly, but they were stranded. Dickerson actually was lifted for a pinch-hitter, Danny Valencia, but I’m sticking with my joke.
Troy Patton threw two scoreless innings for the first time since April 25 in Oakland. Tommy Hunter retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.
Steve Johnson will be the long man on Sunday if Kevin Gausman gets knocked out early. Or if he’s ejected.