In a game where the Orioles used two homers to take an early impressive lead against likely Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, the Orioles used little ball to win the game.
The game was tied 5-5 starting the ninth when Detroit’s Daniel Schlereth came on and gave up a leadoff single to Chris Davis. Kyle Hudson came on to pinch run. He advanced all the way to third base on a wild pitch, third strike to Robert Andino.
Then Matt Angle came up and dropped a suicide squeeze bunt along the first-base line to plate Hudson for a 6-5 lead that stood up for a 6-5 win.
The game began as a pitching matchup between one right-hander with 24 wins and one with 17 losses in Jeremy Guthrie.
Verlander entered this outing against the Orioles tonight with a record of 24-5 and ERA of 2.29. He was 6-0 in eight career starts against the Orioles and 12-0 over his past 12 starts this year.
Plus, he was looking to become the majors’ first 25-game winner since Oakland’s Bob Welch won 27 games in 1990.
While the Orioles got five runs off Verlander in seven innings, Detroit came back to tie the game 5-5 to take him off the hook for his first loss since July 15.
Angle, who had been homerless in 69 big league at-bats, led off the game with a homer to right. Angle hit four homers in 424 at-bats this year at Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles added three runs off Verlander in the second on a J.J. Hardy two-run single and a Nick Markakis RBI single.
Mark Reynolds hit a solo homer in the top of the third for a surprising 5-0 early edge on Verlander. That was his 37th on the year and his fifth homer in his last seven games.
Reynolds’ 37 homers ties him for ninth most in a single season in Orioles history with Boog Powell (37 in 1969) and Albert Belle (37 in 1999).
Detroit battled back, though, and eventually tied the game on a Jhonny Peralta single in the eighth off Pedro Strop.
Thanks to the ninth-inning run, Strop got the win and Kevin Gregg came on to record a save. That was his 22nd on the year.
The Orioles won for the ninth time in the last 12 games and they are 20-14 since Aug. 22 and 13-11 in September.
The Orioles are 67-91 on the year with four games remaining and that is one more win than last year.
The Tigers were 25-8 in Verlander’s starts this year and he had allowed one earned run or less 17 times and recorded a quality start 28 times, but did not add to either total tonight.