Orioles beat Tigers in first game of playoff series
(Reuters) - The Baltimore Orioles pummeled the Detroit Tigers bullpen for a 12-3 victory in the first game of their best-of-five American League divisional series in Baltimore on Thursday.
The Orioles got five strong innings from right-hander Chris Tillman and their bullpen completed the job despite a few shaky moments against the dangerous Detroit line-up in a game that featured five home runs and was closer than the final score suggested.
Baltimore held a tenuous one-run lead until breaking the game open with eight runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The generosity of Detroit’s three relievers, who gave up seven runs, six earned, on five hits in 2/3 of an inning after starter Max Scherzer was replaced, allowed the Orioles to run up a franchise record score in a postseason game.
Left fielder Alejandro De Aza scored from third on an error from shortstop Andrew Romine with one out and that opened the floodgates.
"I can’t remember the last time he made an error. It doesn’t change my opinion about this guy as a shortstop," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus told reporters.
"It’s a team effort. Up to that point it was a pretty good game. It just got away from us."
Five Baltimore players had two hits, including designated hitter Nelson Cruz, who continued to torment the Tigers, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning. He now has seven home runs in seven career postseason games against Detroit.
Tillman, who was 13-6 in the regular season, got the win after throwing 73 strikes in 105 pitches, with six strikeouts. He gave up four hits and two runs. Continued...