Checking in with some notes on both clubs as the Orioles and Tigers begin a four-game series tonight.
* The Tigers clinched the AL Central title last Friday and it was their first division title since they won the AL East in 1987. Detroit is 25-7 since August 19.
* Any team going to the playoffs probably has pretty good pitching and Detroit does. Over the last 18 games, Tigers’ starters have pitched to an ERA of 3.04. Over the last 45 games, the Detroit bullpen has worked to an ERA of 2.17.
* Tigers’ closer Jose Valverde is 47-for-47 in save chances on the year. He is 2-4 with a 2.37 ERA and .202 batting average against. He has 19 saves since August 1st and an ERA of 1.91 since the All-Star break.
* The Orioles offense has come to life lately. The Birds scored 28 runs in four games at Fenway Park and they have scored 50 runs over their last eight games.
* The Orioles have won seven of nine and 10 of their last 15 games entering this series and they are 18-13 since August 22. In the two losses for the Orioles over those last nine games, they gave up a combined 29 runs.
* Nick Markakis is 6-for-11 with three RBIs over his last three games after a 2-for-24 stretch. Over his past four games, Mark Reynolds is 7-for-14 with four homers and nine RBIs after an 0-for-20 stretch.
* Matt Wieters has hit three homers over his last eight games, seven in his last 21 games and 10 over his last 30 contests.