Well, for a while it looked like the Orioles might pin a loss on Justin Verlander for the first time ever. In the end, they didn't pin a loss on anyone as the Detroit Tigers beat the Orioles 5-3 in Game 1 to start a big three-game series.
The Orioles just could not handle the middle of the Tigers order tonight as Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder went a combined 4-for-6 with two walks, three homers and all five Tigers RBIs.
Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer for the Orioles off Verlander in the fifth and that gave the Birds a 3-1 lead. They scored in the third on a Nick Markakis RBI double.
Over his last nine games, Wieters is 10-for-33 (.303) with four doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs.
But Fielder hit a pair of long two-run homers to rally the Tigers. He crushed one off Tommy Hunter in the sixth to tie the game 3-3 and crushed one off J.C. Romero in the eighth to put the Tigers ahead by two. It was his 21st and 22nd homers of the year.
Verlander entered with a mark of 7-0 and 2.71 ERA in 10 career starts against the Orioles and tonight allowed six hits and three runs over six innings for his 19th quality start in 25 outings.
The Orioles had some early chances against him but left five runners on base over the first three innings. For the game they were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position with eight left on base.
Hunter allowed four hits and three runs over six innings. He gave up two homers and has allowed 29 in 118 innings this season. He has given up two or more homers in a game seven times in 2012.
O's first baseman Mark Reynolds and manager Buck Showalter were ejected for arguing a safe call at first base in the Detroit fifth. Jhonny Peralta was initially called out on a play at first and the ruling was later changed to safe.
The Orioles second loss in two nights drops them to 64-55 on the season. They lost for just the fourth time in 13 games and sixth time in the last 18 games. They are now 32-26 in road games and 1-3 vs. the Tigers.