Orioles 6, Tigers 5

There were 44,846 fans at Comerica Park on Saturday night, and

almost all of them came to see Justin Verlander make history.

Instead, a light-hitting Baltimore Orioles rookie stole the

show.

Matt Angle led off the game with his first major league home

run, then executed a tiebreaking squeeze bunt in the ninth inning

to help the Orioles end Verlander’s 12-start winning streak with a

6-5 victory.

”This was a good night, filled with a lot of firsts,” said

Angle, who also took a shaving-cream pie to the face during a

postgame interview. ”I’m going to remember this for a long

time.”

Chris Davis started the ninth with a single off Daniel Schlereth

(2-2). Kyle Hudson ran for him and went from first to third on a

wild pitch that struck out Robert Andino. Angle then laid down a

perfect squeeze to put the Orioles in front.

Managers Jim Leyland and Buck Showalter that the winning play

came down to one veteran manager outguessing the other one.

”Jimmy’s done that to me a million times, which is why he’s one

of the best managers in the game,” Showalter said. ”We were

lucky. Very lucky.”

Leyland said he thought Showalter would try the squeeze, but

didn’t know when.

”I suspected it might be coming but, obviously, I didn’t guess

the right pitch,” he said.

Verlander was bidding to become the first pitcher to win 13

starts in a row since Ellis Kinder of the Boston Red Sox in 1949,

according to STATS LLC. The major league record of 21 was set by

the Philadelphia Athletics’ Lefty Grove in 1931.

Verlander broke the previous Tigers record of wins in 11

straight starts, shared by Earl Whitehill (1930) and Hal Newhouser

(1946).

”I haven’t been paying too much attention to the streak, except

when people ask me about it,” he said. ”So I’m not worried that

it is gone, and I don’t care that I didn’t get the loss tonight. We

lost. That’s all that matters.”

The Tigers also fell a game back of AL West champion Texas in

the race for the league’s second seed.

The Orioles scored five times in the first three innings. J.J.

Hardy hit a two-run single in Baltimore’s three-run second and Mark

Reynolds added his 37th homer in the third inning.

”He’s human, but it isn’t exactly like we opened him up,”

Showalter said of Verlander. ”There aren’t many pitches coming out

of his hand that are easy to hit.”

Verlander’s next start will come in Game 1 of the AL division

series.

”I wasn’t executing my pitches, so I was falling behind guys

and they were taking advantage,” he said. ”Hopefully, I’m going

to have five or six more starts this season, and this one won’t

have mattered.”

Pedro Strop (2-1) picked up the win, and Kevin Gregg pitched the

ninth for his 22nd save.

The Orioles almost had an even bigger start, but Austin Jackson

made a spectacular over-the-shoulder basket catch to rob Adam Jones

of extra bases in the second.

Leyland compared it to the most famous catch in baseball history

– Willie Mays’ grab in the 1954 World Series.

”If you are a baseball fan, you’ve been seeing a catch like

that one for the last 50 or 60 years – Willie’s catch,” he said.

”This one doesn’t take second place to that one or anything else.

That was just an unbelievable catch.”

Jackson hit an RBI single in the third, and Detroit added two

more in the fourth. Alex Avila drove in Miguel Cabrera with a

groundout, and Jhonny Peralta added a sacrifice fly.

Cabrera hit his 28th homer in the sixth and Peralta added a

tying RBI single against Strop in the eighth, giving Verlander a

no-decision.

NOTES: Verlander has gone at least six innings in 42 straight

starts, including all 34 this year. That’s the longest streak for a

Tiger since at least 1919, passing Hal Newhouser’s streak of 41 in

1944-45. … The game drew the biggest crowd of the season. … The

series finale on Sunday matches Detroit’s Brad Penny (10-11)

against Baltimore’s Brian Matusz (1-8). Matusz enters with a 10.68

ERA, the worst in history by any starter with 10 or more starts. He

would have to pitch 6 2-3 shutout innings to avoid breaking Edgar

Gonzalez’s record of 9.32 in 2004. … Baltimore slugger Vladimir

Guerrero picked up his 2,586th career hit, tying Julio Franco for

the most by a Dominican player.