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Orioles 6, Tigers 5

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DETROIT (AP)

The Detroit Tigers want to finish ahead of Texas and get home-field advantage in the American League Divisional Series.

Thursday, though, Detroit's long-range planning might have cost them a game in that quest.

With Tigers manager Jim Leyland juggling his rotation to get things ready for the Red Sox or Yankees, Detroit started one of their top prospects, Jacob Turner Thursday against the Orioles.

The problem? Turner hadn't pitched since losing to Kansas City on September 1 - a three-week layoff.

It showed, as Turner allowed five runs in three-plus innings in Baltimore's 6-5 win.

''That wasn't fair to Jacob, but it was something we felt we had to do to get our pitching staff set up,'' Leyland said. ''That's a start that I'm going to discard right away. He was obviously rusty, and there was no way around it. We got home at three in the morning, and the Orioles are playing well. Give them credit.''

Turner's short outing did give Leyland a chance to look at several relievers who are trying for the last spots in Detroit's October bullpen.

''There's no secret that we're still looking for the guys who are going to get the last two or three roster spots, so today helped us in that regard,'' he said. ''Still, we're out here to win games. We want to stay ahead of Texas, because if there's going to be a Game 5, we want it in front of our fans.''

Back home from a road trip during which they clinched their first division title since 1987, the Tigers were given a standing ovation when they took the field for the first inning. The crowd of 28,847, though, was the smallest at Comerica Park since June 29.

Even though the division hasn't been in doubt for weeks, Delmon Young said that the fans and the race with Texas is keeping the Tigers interested.

''We've got a lot of people paying good money to see us, and we want home field,'' Young said. ''Trust me, we're busting our butts out there. We just ran into a team that wanted to play spoiler tonight.''

Baltimore starter Zach Britton (11-10) got the win despite blowing the 5-0 lead his teammates had built against Turner. Britton gave up five runs, six hits and four walks in five innings.

Vladimir Guerrero's RBI single scored J.J. Hardy in the first, and Hardy's 29th homer made it 2-0 in the third.

Detroit tied the game with four runs in the fifth, including a long three-run homer by Delmon Young, but Baltimore went back up in the sixth when Reimold beat out a two-out infield single off David Pauley (5-6).

Kevin Gregg pitched the ninth for his 21st save.

Matt Wieters started the fourth with a single off Turner, and Jones gave the Orioles a 4-0 lead with his 24th homer. A walk and an error ended Turner's night, and Reimold brought home Baltimore's fifth run with a sacrifice fly.

Jones also made a key defensive play when he threw Cabrera out at the plate on a second-inning single.

''When a guy gets on second, I'll usually give them a wave to let them know I'm out there,'' he said. ''Miguel wanted to score, and I wanted to prevent it.''

The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Victor Martinez grounded into a double play with runners on the corners.

In the eighth, Miguel Cabrera got to third base, but Pedro Strop struck out Ryan Raburn to end the inning.

NOTES: Tigers TV announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen broadcast the game from the front row behind home plate. Two extremely wild pitches by Britton nearly hit them - one on the fly and one after bouncing well in front of the plate. ... The teams continue the four-game series on Friday with Baltimore's Alfredo Simon (4-9) facing Detroit's Rick Porcello (14-9). Porcello is also expected to start Detroit's final game of the regular season and Game 4 of the ALDS, if necessary. ... Tigers manager Jim Leyland confirmed before the game that Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer would start the first three games of the postseason, and that Verlander would not pitch on short rest in a fourth game, even if Detroit were facing elimination.

Tagged: Orioles, Tigers, Miguel Cabrera, Delmon Young

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