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Fielder, Cabrera power Tigers past O's

Baltimore Orioles
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is ejected after arguing a play in the fifth inning.
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DETROIT (AP)

Prince Fielder hit a pair of long two-run homers, and hardly seemed impressed by his display of power.

GREAT AMERICAN RACE

The Junior Circuit is poised for epic AL pennant chases this season.

Fielder slammed a 462-foot deep drive to right-center and a soaring shot over the right-field wall, to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

''As long as they go over, I'm happy,'' Fielder said.

Baltimore led 3-1 against Justin Verlander after five innings, but couldn't keep the lead because Orioles pitchers failed to keep Fielder in the park.

Fielder tied the game with his first homer in the sixth inning and put Detroit ahead with his 22nd of the season in the eighth. It was his second multihomer game of the season and the 24th of his career.

Miguel Cabrera, who scored on both of Fielder's homers, put the Tigers ahead 1-0 in the first with his 31st home run.

''We got the big blows from the big guys,'' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ''There's no defense for those.''

Joaquin Benoit (2-3) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the win. Jose Valverde gave up a leadoff double to Manny Machado in the ninth, then retired the next three Orioles for his 23rd save in 27 chances.

Darren O'Day (6-1) took the loss after J.C. Romero allowed Fielder - the first batter he faced - to hit his second homer of the game.

Nick Markakis hit a game-tying double in the third off Verlander.

Baltimore scored two more runs off Detroit's ace, taking a 3-1 lead on Matt Wieters' 2-run homer in the fifth.

PURPLE HAZE

MLB veterans come up with humiliating stunts to initiate rookies.

In the home half, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and first baseman Mark Reynolds were ejected. Showalter and Reynolds became upset after an overturned call put Jhonny Peralta on first base after he was called out.

Machado made a throw that forced Reynolds to fully extend to catch the ball that was low and up the line, and the first baseman appeared to be pulled off the bag. Replays weren't conclusive.

First base umpire Jeff Kellogg called Peralta out after Leyland came out of the dugout to argue. The call was overturned by home plate umpire Tim Timmons.

''I had (Reynolds) off the bag,'' Timmons said.

Reynolds reacted to that decision by slamming his glove, and he was immediately tossed from the game.

''I stayed on the bag and that's why I got so upset,'' Reynolds said. ''I don't understand how an umpire can miss a play at home plate that's right in front of him and see that play from home plate at first base. It's embarrassing that they would overturn a call that obviously has an impact on the game in the middle of the pennant race.''

Showalter stormed out of the dugout, was also ejected, and later said the umpires didn't get the call right.

Kellogg insisted they did.

''We just want to get the play right, and that's what we did there,'' Kellogg said.

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Machado was charged with an error, but Detroit failed to capitalize.

The Orioles didn't take advantage of a vulnerable Verlander.

The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young award winner, who has won only one of his last five starts, gave up six hits and struck out six in six innings. He allowed four walks to match a season high.

''I was definitely out of sync,'' Verlander said. ''I wasn't quite right.

''I was able to keep us in the game, and the big boys did what they do. They can put an entire team on their back.''

Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter allowed three runs, four hits and two walks over six innings. Hunter gave up two homers, increasing his season total to 29 - more than any pitcher in the majors this year.

Notes: The Tigers have given up hope of DH Victor Martinez coming back this season after he had surgery on his left knee. The decision was made this week to aim for him to return at the start of spring training. When Martinez was injured in January, the Tigers signed Fielder to a $214 million, nine-year contract. ... Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, formerly of the Orioles, has agreed to pay $358,151 to settle federal civil charges of profiting in stock trades by using confidential information passed to him by a former teammate. The Orioles declined to comment. ... Detroit expects RHP Al Alburquerque (elbow surgery) and LHP Daniel Schlereth (shoulder tendinitis) to pitch in the minors this weekend. The Tigers hope OF Ryan Raburn (sprained right thumb) will be able to take batting practice next week. ... Wieters has eight extra-base hits in nine games.

Tagged: Orioles, Tigers, Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander, Mark Reynolds

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