DETROIT, Mi — Following a five-hour, 13-inning thriller that ended with a 13-11 victory the night before, the Orioles dropped the second game of a three-game series to the Tigers, 5-4, on Wednesday night.
The game ended on a controversial check-swing in which Manny Machado was called out on strikes by umpire C.B. Bucknor. The swing was far enough for it to routinely be called a strik, but Bucknor’s call was inconsistent with a check-swing call earlier in Machado’s at-bat, which was issued a ball.
Tyler Collins’s fifth-inning three-run home run would end up winning the game for the Tigers, as the Orioles held a 4-2 advantage prior to the long ball. It was Collins’s second home run of the game, as he hit a solo shot in the second inning. Both homers came off of Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez.
Jimenez, now 1-2 on the season, pitched five innings, and allowed all five runs on eight hits, three walks, and five strikeouts.
In a MASN interview after the game, Jimenez said that he did not have command of his fastball. It has been a problem all season for Jimenez (and really all throughout his career), but Jimenez pointed back to his previous start (a 7.2 inning, four-run performance against the Nationals on May 9) that showed recent success.
Fair point, but the lack of consistency has plagued Jimenez since he has been in the majors.
The Orioles got on the board first in the top of the second inning. The birds loaded the bases off of singles by Jonathan Schoop, Wellington Castillo, and Trey Mancini. J.J. Hardy got Schoop home on a fielder’s choice that forced Mancini out at second base. In the fourth inning, the bottom of the lineup continued to produce. Castillo hit an RBI single that scored Mark Trumbo, and Mancini hit a sacrifice fly that scored Schoop. In the fifth inning, Baltimore added another run as Chris Davis and Trumbo hit back-to-back doubles.
The Orioles scored all of their runs off of Tigers starter Michael Fulmer, now 5-1. Fulmer pitched seven innings and struck out four Oriole hitters.
With the loss, the Orioles have dropped five of their last six, with all six games taking place on the current road trip. The Orioles are now 23-15, and are a full game behind the Yankees in the American League East. The Tigers now sit at .500, with a 19-19 record. They are in third place in the AL Central Division.
With every available relief pitcher being used on Tuesday, the Orioles made some roster moves before Wednesday’s contest. The first move was recalling right-handed pitcher Stefan Crichton from Triple-A Norfolk, and designating-for-assignment catcher Francisco Peña. Peña hit two solo home runs on Saturday against the Royals, but with Castillo’s return, the Orioles cannot keep three catchers on the roster. Peña is out of minor league options, so he will have to clear waivers before returning to Baltimore’s organization.
In Wednesday’s game, Crichton pitched 1.2 innings, throwing 26 pitches.
The second move the O’s made prior to Wednesday’s game was calling up right-handed pitcher Miguel Castro from Double-A Bowie, and using a minor league option for left-handed pitcher Donnie Hart. Hart struggled mightily in his relief appearance on Tuesday, allowing three runs on five hits. He threw 26 pitches in two-thirds of an inning.
Wednesday night was Castro’s Orioles debut. He pitched one inning, recording a strikeout.
The two teams will reconvene on Thursday afternoon for the rubber match of this three-game set. It will be Dylan Bundy for the Orioles (5-1, 2.26 ERA) taking on Jordan Zimmerman of the Tigers (3-2, 6.28 ERA). First pitch from Comerica Park is scheduled for 1:10 pm. Orioles fans can catch the game on MASN 2 and 105.7 The Fan.