Home runs help clinch se­ries win

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

DETROIT — Home runs from sources ex­pected and un­ex­pected helped the Ori­oles to a big Septem­ber se­ries win Sun­day, with new re­serve out­fielder Michael Bourn and se­cond base­man Jonathan Schoop pro­vid­ing all the re­quired scor­ing in a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers be­fore an an­nounced 33,069 at Comer­ica Park.

Bourn, who had just three home runs this sea­son be­fore a trade brought him to the Ori­oles from the Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs Aug. 31, gave the Ori­oles a 2-0 lead in the third in­ning with his se­cond home run in as many starts since the trade.

One in­ning later, Schoop, who has a team-high eight home runs on Sun­days and is bat­ting .356 in day games, added his 23rd of the year.

“We were able to get two runs with that home run, and then Schoop added an­other one,” Bourn said. “Chris [ Till­man] was amaz­ing out there, and the bullpen came down and shut it down. It was a game that you look for. I know it was a pretty big hit in that sit­u­a­tion, but I was just try­ing to bat­tle against a tough pitcher and make the most out of it.”

Both home runs came off Tigers ace Justin Ver­lan­der (14-8), who made it through just five in­nings against the Ori­oles.

“It’s just that they didn’t score many runs,” Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “The guy gave up three runs. He pitched well. Our guys re­ally made him earn ev­ery­thing.”

Ver­lan­der’s coun­ter­part, the re­turn­ing Till­man, was wob­bly in the first in­ning af­ter three weeks of in­ac­tiv­ity fol­low­ing a shoul­der prob­lem, and strug­gled to find his Jonathan Schoop hits a home run, his 23rd this year, in the fourth in­ning off the Tigers’ Justin Ver­lan­der. con­trol be­fore set­tling in.

Till­man (16-5) al­lowed a run on four hits with a walk and four strike­outs over six in­nings, low­er­ing his ERAto 3.68 this sea­son. The win moves the Ori­oles (78-64) two games clear of Detroit (76-66) in the Amer­i­can League wild-card race.

“It was awe­some,” Till­man said. “There’s noth­ing like it. You get kind of bored and frus­trated sit­ting on the bench that long and not be­ing able to help the team. It was a big se­ries, a big win, and it’s good to get out of here with the se­ries win.” Bullpen shake-up: The or­der was dif­fer­ent, but the re­sult was the same. Brad Brach, My­chal Givens and Zach Britton com­bined for three score­less in­nings be­hind Till­man, strand­ing four base run­ners to close out the vic­tory.

Givens hit the first bat­ter he faced be­fore Schoop chased down a blooper for a bas­ket catch in short right field. Af­ter a one-out walk, Givens got Tigers first base­man Miguel Cabr­era to ground into a dou­ble play. Cabr­era did not have a hit in the se­ries.

Britton worked around a walk and a sin­gle for a score­less ninth in­ning for his 41st save in 41 tries this sea­son.

“That was re­ally good,” Britton said. “It all starts with Tilly do­ing a great job com­ing back. It’s a tough lineup for your first one back, and he did a great job. It starts there. He al­lowed us to come in when the matchups were in our fa­vor. Givens and Brad did a great job. It al­ways starts with the pitch­ing, and keep­ing their lineup in check, which is tough to do. That was the key to the last two wins that we got here.” Machado has mixed day: Third base­man Manny Machado started the Ori­oles’ day of­fen­sively with a tow­er­ing two-out triple in the first in­ning, and fin­ished it with a pair of hits, but Ver­lan­der got the bet­ter of him in a big mo­ment in the third in­ning.

With Machado on se­cond base, Chris Davis on first and Mark Trumbo fac­ing a full count with two outs, Ver­lan­der turned around and picked off Machado. Jones does it all: It’s hard to quan­tify how much Adam Jones means de­fen­sively for the Ori­oles, but he made two big plays in the third in­ning. He was play­ing in and shaded to­ward right field be­fore his div­ing, rolling catch on a blooper by short­stop Jose Igle­sias, and two bat­ters later sprinted to the warn­ing track to snare a line drive by cen­ter fielder Cameron May­bin.

PAUL SAN­CYA/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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