Orioles tame Tigers with eighth inning burst

Fri Oct 3, 2014 7:52pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Baltimore rallied for a 7-6 win as the Detroit Tigers suffered another eighth inning collapse on Friday, sending the Orioles to a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five American League division series.

After scoring eight runs in the eighth inning to key a 12-3 Game One win on Thursday, the Orioles followed the same script in a Game Two matinee at Baltimore's Camden Yards, pushing across four runs in the eighth to once again stun the Tigers.

Trailing 6-3, Steve Pearce started the Orioles' comeback with an RBI single before Delmon Young slammed a bases-loaded double, scoring three more runs to leave the capacity crowd on its feet, roaring in delight.

The series now shifts to the Motor City for Game Three on Sunday with the Tigers needing a victory to avoid elimination.

"It's nice, but at the same time, we've got to stay focused and take care of business," Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy told reporters. "Just because we're up two games doesn't mean the series is over. So we got to stay focused."

With 2011 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, an unbeaten 7-0 at Camden Yards, on the mound with a 5-2 lead after a five-run fourth inning the Tigers had looked ready to level the series.

But once again a wobbly bullpen proved to be Detroit's Achilles heel, the Orioles piling up 12 runs over two games in the eighth inning.

"I guess there is that sense of finality," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter when asked to explain his team's eighth inning magic. "If you take any pitch off, you know in the back of your mind it could be that pitch.

"But if we knew that, we would move it to another inning and make it less stressful on all of us."   Continued...

Oct 3, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA;Baltimore Orioles catcher Nick Hundley (40) celebrates with right fielder Nick Markakis (21) after winning against the Detroit Tigers in game two of the 2014 ALDS playoff baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports