Path to the NLDS: Baltimore (96-66) won the AL East by 12 games; Detroit (90-72) won the AL Central by one game
The Tigers, fresh off their fourth consecutive AL Central championship, ran into an ALDS buzzsaw in the form of the Orioles, who exposed Detroit's shaky bullpen in the three-game sweep.
The worst of Detroit's late-innings collapses came in Game 1, when their bullpen gave up eight runs in the eighth inning, allowing Baltimore to turn a narrow, 4-3 lead into a 12-3 rout. Things weren't much better in Game 2, when a 6-3 eighth-inning Detroit lead turned into a 7-6 Baltimore victory. The Orioles, at least, led most of the way in the tight, 2-1 Game 3 victory in Detroit, clinching the series sweep.
The offense from the heart of Detroit's order -- 11 hits, four home runs and nine RBIs in the series from Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez -- was overshadowed by the bullpen's struggles. Nelson Cruz had six hits, two homers and five RBIs in the series for Baltimore.