Just when it appeared that Caleb Joseph’s finest work tonight would come behind the plate, he did something memorable from the right side of it.
The rookie catcher grounded a single into center field with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning for his first major league hit.
Joseph had been 0-for-8 in three starts, including a ground ball to Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos tonight that led to a force play. He ended that streak and gained a souvenir with his single off left-hander Drew Smyly.
The Orioles made sure to keep the ball for Joseph, with first baseman Victor Martinez handing it to first base coach Wayne Kirby, who tossed it into the dugout. Considering what a joker Joseph is - he’s got a second career as a comedian and impressionist if this baseball thing doesn’t work out - his teammates are liable to prank him.
Joseph was 0-for-2 throwing out runners attempting to steal at Tropicana Field, but he’s twice been part of a strike out/throw out to end the second and fourth innings.
He’s also working nicely with starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who’s allowed two hits, walked a batter and struck out four in five scoreless innings.
Jimenez has allowed one run in 17 2/3 innings in three May starts.
Update: Make that one run in 19 2/3 innings in three May starts.
Jimenez came out after allowing three hits, walking two and striking out seven in seven shutout innings. He threw 97 pitches, 60 for strikes.
Jimenez has permitted one run and 13 hits in 19 2/3 innings this month, with five walks and 20 strikeouts.
Darren O’Day retired the Tigers in order with two stirkeouts in the eighth. Tommy Hunter is warming.
Update II: One out away from recording the save, Tommy Hunter served up a three-run homer to Miguel Cabrera and a solo shot to Victor Martinez to give Detroit a 4-1 lead.
Preston Guilmet has entered the game.
Hunter has blown two straight save opportunities and is 11-for-14.
Hunter gave up a leadoff single to Alex Avila, who took advantage of the infield shift. Still no 1-2-3 innings for Hunter.
Torii Hunter walked with two outs and the count full, and Cabrera deposited a curveball into the home bullpen. Martinez crushed the next pitch, a 96 mph fastball. The ball landed on Eutaw St. or Utah.
Pinch-runner Rajai Davis stole second base with no outs. Davis was called out, but the umpires overturned it upon review. MASN cameras showed manager Buck Showalter’s displeasure.
Update III: Game over. The Orioles lose to the Tigers 4-1 for their third consecutive defeat.
Victor Martinez’s ball did land on Eutaw Street, the 79th in Camden Yards history, the 47th by an opponent and the second by a Tiger. Mickey Tettleton had the other on April 20, 1992.
Tonight’s attendance: 29,950