Tigers edge Orioles 4-3, pull even for postseason spot
Detroit Tigers' Victor Martinez (41) celebrates his solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles with J.D. Martinez during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
DETROIT (AP) Victor Martinez hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 4-3 on Friday night, pulling even with the Orioles for the American League's second wild card.
Michael Fulmer pitched seven solid innings, and the Tigers won despite blowing a 3-0 lead. The Orioles tied it in the eighth when Adam Jones hit an RBI single, but Martinez led off the bottom half with a drive to right-center field off reliever Brad Brach (8-3).
Alex Wilson (3-0) got the win even after allowing the tying run in the eighth. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 40th save in 44 chances. He is tied with Baltimore's Zach Britton for the AL lead in saves.
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J.D. Martinez hit a two-run single in the fifth to give Detroit a 3-0 lead, but Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer the following inning to start Baltimore's comeback.
Fulmer allowed two runs and three hits against Baltimore's powerful lineup. The rookie right-hander struck out five and walked one.
Orioles starter Kevin Gausman allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Gausman hadn't allowed a run in his previous three outings, but that streak came to an end when Erick Aybar hit an RBI double in the second. The right-hander got out of a jam in the third when right fielder Mark Trumbo threw Ian Kinsler out at the plate to end the inning.
J.D. Martinez delivered with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth to give the Tigers a three-run lead.
Detroit left fielder Justin Upton reached up at the wall in the third to take a possible homer away from Hyun Soo Kim – another play that proved crucial in what ended up being a close game.
Upton and Miguel Cabrera struck out three times each.
Orioles: Manager Buck Showalter said RHP Darren O'Day (right rotator cuff) might throw a simulated game soon. He said OF Joey Rickard (right thumb ligament) hit Thursday, and RHP Chris Tillman (right shoulder) threw Friday.
Tigers: 3B Nick Castellanos (left hand) said in the clubhouse before the game his goal is to be back before Sept. 18.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (6-11) takes the mound Saturday night against the Tigers. He's coming off a two-hitter at Tampa Bay in his last start.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (9-5) returns to the mound for his second start since June and first since Aug. 4. He's battled neck problems for much of the season.