O’s game blog: Jiménez on the mound at Detroit (O’s lose 5-4)

After winning in 5 hours, 19 minutes in the series opener that took 13 innings, the Orioles and Detroit Tigers play Game 2 of their three-game series tonight at Comerica Park.

The Orioles improved to 23-14 and snapped a four-game losing streak with the crazy 13-11 win. It was a win that saw the Orioles lose an early six-run lead and then blow a three-run edge in the 12th inning, only to finally close it out an inning later. The Orioles are a half-game behind New York for first place in the American League East.

They are 1-4 on a road trip that includes one rainout and has two games to go, and 10-11 in road games for the season. They are now 8-2 in games decided by two runs.

The Tigers are 18-19 and in third in the AL Central, two games back of Minnesota. Detroit has lost three of four and seven of 11 games. The Tigers are 9-8 at home.

Chris Davis hit homers in the 12th and 13th innings last night, becoming the second player in Orioles history to hit two extra-inning homers in the same game. It was first done by Mike Young on May 28, 1987 against the Angels.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Davis is only the second player in the expansion era (since 1961) to hit two go-ahead home runs in extras. That was also done by Matt Adams of the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 4, 2013.

According to Baseball-reference, com., Davis is now tied for fourth most multi-homer games in Orioles history:

21 - Cal Ripken Jr.
20 - Boog Powell, Eddie Murray
17 - Davis, Brady Anderson
16 - Frank Robinson
14 - Jim Gentile
12 - Rafael Palmeiro

Before Saturday’s game at Kansas City, Davis had hit one homer over his previous 24 games. Now he has homered in three consecutive games, going 6-for-11 with four homers and seven RBIs.

Meanwhile, the Orioles are starting to hit homers at a greater rate. In the season’s first 28 games, they had eight games of two or more homers. Now they have seven multi-homer games in their last nine contests. They’ve hit nine homers the last three games and 18 in the last nine.

AL team homer leaders:
58 - New York
56 - Tampa Bay
55 - Oakland, Texas, Houston
52 - Orioles

On the mound tonight, right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez (1-1, 6.15 ERA) faces right-hander Michael Fulmer (4-1, 2.54 ERA).

Jiménez had a strong start last Tuesday against Max Scherzer of the Nationals when he gave up four runs over 7 2/3 innings. A real solid outing was somewhat marred by a late three-run homer by Adam Lind. Twice this year, Jiménez has had outings of 7 2/3 innings. But in four other starts, he has pitched 4 1/3 or fewer innings.

In 21 career starts versus Detroit, he is 6-11 with a 5.49 ERA and 1.517 WHIP.

The 2016 AL Rookie of the Year, Fulmer is having a strong season, throwing seven consecutive quality starts and allowing three runs or less in each start. In his past two starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA.

When he went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA last season, he became the fifth in Tigers franchise to win Rookie of the Year. He was the first since Justin Verlander in 2006.

Fulmer has reverse splits where right-handers hit him better. Lefty batters hit .152 with an OPS of .415 against him and right-handed batters hit .265/.777. In two starts last season versus the Orioles, he went 0-0 with an ERA of 4.76 over 11 1/3 innings.

O’s lose 5-4: There was more frustration for the Orioles tonight. They lost to the Tigers 5-4. The game ended when Manny Machado was called out on strikes with runners on first and third in the ninth. He thought he checked his swing, but was called out on appeal by first base umpire CB Bucknor.

Earlier, another lead got away when Detroit center fielder Tyler Collins hit his second homer of the game. With Detroit trailing 4-2 in the fifth, he hit a three-run homer off Jiménez for a 5-4 lead and the game ended by that score. Collins began the game in an 0-for-30 slump, then went 3-for-4 with a double, two homers and four RBIs.

Jiménez allowed five runs and eight hits over five innings and 95 pitches. He is 1-2 with an ERA of 6.52.

The Orioles fall to 23-15 overall and have lost five of their last six games - and all five of the losses have been by a single run. They are 1-5 on this road trip that ends Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.

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