BALTIMORE -- The red-hot Orioles offense got going late and rallied the team to a 7-5 victory over the Tigers on Thursday night at Camden Yards. The series-opening victory was Baltimore's fifth in a row and 10th in 14 games, while Detroit lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
The Orioles couldn't get much going through five innings against Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey and trailed, 5-0, as they came to bat in the sixth. But they pushed across two runs in that frame -- both charged to Pelfrey -- and five more against the Detroit bullpen in the seventh. With two outs, Pedro Alvarez tied the game with an RBI single to right, and Jonathan Schoop put the Orioles in front with his first career triple, driving in two.
"I'm proud of the way that we've been going about our at-bats and not just giving in or going up there and hacking when we get down," said first baseman Chris Davis, who played his part in the big inning with an RBI single. "We're actually working the count, trying to see some pitches and take advantage of it."
Baltimore now has scored 37 runs over its winning streak, and on Thursday, the offense got starter Ubaldo Jimenez off the hook. Jimenez labored through 105 pitches in five-plus innings, giving up nine hits, five runs (four earned) and four walks, while striking out two. Vance Worley (2-0) picked up the win in relief, with Darren O'Day and closer Zach Britton finishing things off in the eighth and ninth.
"It's going to turn around," said Martinez. "This is too good of a team for us to keep playing like this. What [else] can I say?"
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Big three-bagger caps rally: Schoop entered Thursday with 78 extra-base hits in 260 career games, but no triples. That changed in the tide-turning seventh inning. The Orioles already had scored three runs to tie the game, on RBI singles by Adam Jones, Davis and Alvarez, before Schoop got ahead of Tigers reliever Justin Wilson and lined a 95-mph fastball into the right-field corner for a two-run triple. More >
Timing is everything: The Tigers certainly had their chances to turn the game into a complete blowout by the middle innings. But they could not get big hits at the right time. They left runners at first and third in the first, hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the second inning and repeatedly left runners in scoring position. They left 12 on base overall and went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and that opened the door for the Orioles to rally.
"We had missed opportunities," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We got some hits. We left some guys on base."
Stay within striking distance: It would have been much more difficult for Baltimore to rally in the seventh had Worley not wiggled out of a jam in the top of the frame. In his second inning of work, the right-hander gave up one-out singles to Steven Moya and Saltalamacchia, as the Tigers threatened to widen their three-run lead. But Worley got ground-ball outs from Jose Iglesias and leadoff man Ian Kinsler to keep Baltimore's deficit where it was and set the stage for the comeback.
"Worley had some big outs for us to get some tempo back in the game," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
No relief here: Pelfrey breezed through the early innings and exited the game in the sixth with a 5-1 lead, but the Detroit bullpen could not hold on. Tigers relievers surrendered a total of seven hits and five runs -- all of which came in the seventh.
"We had a lead, and we didn't hold it," Ausmus said. "We've got to win a game. Then you've got to win a second game or two out of three or three out of four, whatever it may be." More >
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Before his big triple, Schoop had collected the second-most plate appearances of any active player without one, at 938. Pirates catcher Chris Stewart has 1,092 plate appearances and no triples.
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers: Right-hander Justin Verlander has pitched well at Oriole Park and will try to do so again when he takes the ball on Friday night at 7:05 ET. Verlander, who is 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA this season, has a 7-0 record and a 2.84 ERA in eight career starts in Baltimore along with 43 strikeouts.
Orioles: Right-hander Chris Tillman will try to keep his recent run of success going when he faces the Tigers in the second game of the four-game series. Tillman has a 2.08 ERA over his past four starts and has struck out at least seven batters in three straight outings for the first time in his career.