Ausmus discusses Tigers' end of 12-3 loss in ALDS Game 1

Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus' first postseason game as a manager didn't quite go the way he hoped. A tight contest turned into a rout when few miscues in the eighth contributed to an eight-run inning for the Orioles, who handed Detroit a 12-3 loss in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. In the top of the eighth with the dangerous heart of the Tigers' order due up, Torii Hunter lined into a double play when Ian Kinsler ran on his own, making it easy work for J.J. Hardy after a scorcher to the shortstop's glove. In the bottom of the frame, a run scored when shortstop Andrew Romine committed his first error since Aug. 6. Center fielder Rajai Davis committed another error in the inning that gave the Orioles an extra out. The Tigers still allowed seven earned runs in the inning. Ausmus didn't blame the baserunning, the fielding or the pitching, saying the collapse was everyone's responsibility. "It's a team effort," he said. "Look, in baseball, a team effort is if someone makes an error, you hope the pitcher picks him up. If a pitcher makes a mistake, you hope a fielder picks him up. The pitching struggles, you hope the lineup picks him up. Tonight we just didn't get it done. Simple as that. Up until that point in the game, it was a pretty good game and it just got away from us. You've got to credit the Baltimore Oriole hitters as well." Starter Max Scherzer took the loss with five earned runs in 7 1/3 innings. But it was the bullpen that mostly came undone. Joba Chamberlain allowed two runs (one earned) without recording an out. Joakim Soria surrendered four runs on three hits and a walk while retiring just one batter. Ausmus indicated that Soria's role as a late-inning reliever wasn't in jeopardy because of the outing. "Well, Soria's one of our back-end relievers. That doesn't change," Ausmus said. "I know his outing today wasn't what we had hoped. But it's also over. He's been around for a little while. But this whole team's been around for a little while. They've been in the playoffs and we have a quick turnaround for Game 2. So trust me, this will be in the rear-view mirror by tomorrow morning." As for Kinsler's blunder, Ausmus said the Tigers second baseman ran on his own and a hit-and-run wasn't called. But Ausmus didn't see fault in the decision. "It doesn't bother me. The odds of a line drive going right at a guy are pretty slim," Ausmus said. "It just so happened that it did. If it finds a hole, you're first and third with the heart of your order up. That's a pretty good situation to be in. It Torii swings and misses, I thought Kinsler had a great jump. He would've been safe. And I know (Miguel Cabrera) ends up hitting a homer, but lets be honest. Miggy's not getting the same pitches with nobody on and two out as he is with one or two on and zero or one out. It's a completely different at-bat." Kinsler did draw praise more praise for taking 30 pitches against Chris Tillman, helping to shorten the O's starter's night. "He battled. We had a few guys who battled Tillman," Ausmus said. "His pitch count got up pretty quickly. But Kinsler certainly stands out in that regard." Scherzer had been having a pretty good day before the eighth. He had allowed four runs over the first seven innings, recovering from allowing three runs in the first two frames to keep the Orioles off the board from the third through the sixth. "After the second inning, (pitching coach Jeff Jones) had noticed something on the video and talked to Max about it, and there was immediate results," Ausmus said. "He seemed to be in a little bit on the side of the ball the first couple innings. And after the adjustment, he was on top. His slider was breaking more downhill as opposed to across. And we could tell right away that the mechanical adjustment had a positive effect." Romine was visibly upset after committing the error that helped give the eighth-inning rally some life. Ausmus said he plans to talk to the shortstop before tomorrow's game. "This guy's been a really good fielder," Ausmus said. "(Bench coach) Gene Lamont and I were discussing it on the bench. I can't remember the last time he made an error. You never like to see errors, but he's been really good out there and unfortunately there was one tonight, an untimely one. But it doesn't change my thought process about this guy as a shortstop." Davis had been a question mark for the ALDS roster altogether because of a groin injury. He made the cut, started Game 1, committed the error and was lifted for pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera in the ninth. "At times, it looked like he was struggling. So I checked with him multiple times, (trainer) Kevin Rand checked with him multiple times. He said he was fine," Ausmus said. "The pinch-hit was twofold - one, get Rajai out of the game just in case he's not feeling great and two, it gives Carrera an at-bat." And now the clubs have a quick turnaround to Game 2. Ausmus sees it as a positive for the Tigers after a 12-3 loss. "I think it's good," the first-year manager said. "It takes your mind off it. You immediately have a new game to focus on."

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