Luke Scott continued his devastation of Tigers pitchers tonight with his fifth homer in three games. Even Justin Verlander could not stop Scott who blasted a game tying two run homer in the bottom of the sixth off the Tigers ace. Scott now has 1o homers in 35 at bats against the Tigers the past two years.
This time the Tigers had an answer for the Orioles designated hitter though. Clete Thomas put Detroit back in front with a solo shot to left center leading off the seventh against Orioles reliever Matt Albers. Clete also homered to center field in the third and just missed another in the eighth when he had to settle for a double off the top of the left field wall. His three RBI were the difference in the Tigers 6-3 victory.
Justin Verlander was not quite as sharp tonight as he had been in recent outings. Justin pitched four shutout innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Much heralded rookie catcher Matt Wieters lead off the fifth with a triple which sent Curtis Granderson crashing into the center field wall. The Orioles followed with three consecutive singles to score Wieters and to load the bases. Verlander managed to escape the inning with no further damage by starting out a one two three double play and striking out Nick Markakis. He then allowed that homer to Scott in the sixth.
The Tigers received another strong effort from their bullpen tonight. Joe Zumaya, the third pitcher of the seventh inning, came in with two runners on base and struck out Melvin Mora to end it. He then struck out the great Luke Scott on three pitches leading off the seventh and proceeded to get the Orioles one two three. Fernado Rodney survived a lead off single in the ninth to secure his ninth save in nine opportunities.
The Tigers had some other hitting stars tonight besides Thomas. Magglio Ordonez got three more hits tonight - a double and two singles - to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. The streak has lifted his batting average from .225 to .285. Granderson started the Tiger scoring with a home run in the second inning and later singled and scored.