V. Martinez takes Brach deep in 8th

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Jon Me­oli jme­oli@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/JonMe­oli

DETROIT — Vic­tor Martinez led off the eighth with a home run off Brad Brach, and the Ori­oles’ come­back at Comer­ica Park on Fri­day night went for naught.

The Detroit Tigers opened the crit­i­cal week­end series with a 4-3 win over the Ori­oles, draw­ing even with them for the sec­ond Amer­i­can League wild card.

“I tend more to give Vic­tor Martinez credit,” Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “He’s been do­ing that to a lot of guys.”

The Ori­oles fell to 76-64, slip­ping three games out of first place in the AL East af­ter the Bos­ton Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays. Brach (8-3) has a 4.67 ERA over his past 18 ap­pear­ances.

Ori­oles starter Kevin Gaus­man gave them a “grind-it-out” start, but the Tigers struck twice off him. Right fielder J. DMartinez scored on a dou­ble by third base­man Erick Ay­bar in the third in­ning, and Martinez drove in two runs with a bases-loaded, two-out sin­gle in the fifth. O’s claw back late: There wasn’t much hap­pen­ing for the Ori­oles of­fen­sively against rookie Michael Ful­mer un­til sec­ond base­man Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer over the Tigers bullpen in left field to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the sixth in­ning.

Left fielder Hyun Soo Kim legged out a bloop dou­ble to left with one out in the eighth, then gave way to pinch-run­ner Michael Bourn, who scored on Adam Jones’ sin­gle that lev­eled the score at 3. In the bullpen: The Ori­oles’ bullpen plan seemed to change fre­quently as the game pro­gressed. In the fifth in­ning, it was Tommy Hunter warm­ing up. He sat in fa­vor of My­chal Givens when Gaus­man re­turned for the sixth in­ning, and Givens ended up pitch­ing a score­less sev­enth.

Af­ter Givens, closer Zach Brit­ton was up to get work and pre­sum­ably pitch the eighth in­ning with a one-run deficit. The RBI sin­gle by Jones meant Brach got up to pitch the eighth. Kim robbed twice: Kim be­gan trot­ting to first base af­ter a 3-1 pitch that was out­side but was deemed a strike by plate um­pire Joe West. On the next pitch, Kim sent left fielder Justin Up­ton to the wall, where he had to reach over the home run line to record the in­ning’s fi­nal out. A laser by Trumbo: Right fielder Mark Trumbo usu­ally hits lasers over out­field­ers’ heads, but in­stead launched a throw from the out­field grass in the third in­ning to cut down Ian Kinsler at the plate.

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