There is a saying in baseball that momentum is only as good as that day’s starting pitcher. If the Orioles had any momentum after Saturday’s 13-inning win, Justin Verlander squashed it.
He gave up just three hits over eight innings today as Detroit beat the Orioles 4-0 to take the series finale in front of 30,439 at Camden Yards.
Verlander retired 16 of the last 17 Orioles, and walked two and fanned eight, throwing 117 pitches. He improved to 10-5 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.43.
In 10 career starts against the Orioles, he is 7-0 with an ERA of 2.71. The Orioles only had two runners get to second base against him and none after the third inning. Jim Thome had a single and double and two of the three hits against him.
Losing pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, making his second Orioles start, allowed three runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked five and fanned three, throwing 100 pitches.
The crowd got energized in the top of the eighth when Baltimore native Steve Johnson pitched a scoreless inning in his big league debut. After walking the first two batters he faced and after a sac bunt, he fanned Don Kelly and Austin Jackson to escape the jam. The crowed roared its approval as Johnson and the O’s left the field.
Johnson pitched the ninth as well and gave up a long solo homer to Miguel Cabrera, as he connected for his 20th.
The Orioles lost for fifth time in seven games, the 11th time in 16 games and fell to 7-15 over their past 22 games. The Orioles are now 2-5 over their last seven series.
Now they head to Minnesota and Cleveland for an eight-game road trip. In game one of a four-game series Monday night, Chris Tillman (1-0, 0.00 ERA) pitches against the Twins’ Scott Diamond (7-3, 2.62 ERA).