For many Orioles fans, the first postseason game in 15 years is reward enough. The loyalists, old, new and returning, might be satisfied with the qualification for the Divisional Series. The Orioles dont feel that way.After the team celebrated wildly after their win over the Texas Rangers on Friday night, its natural to think that was good enough.Lots of teams with first-time playoff participants suffer from the just happy to be here syndrome.So many people tell them to savor their experience that thats what they do, enjoy it, appreciate theyre there and quickly get eliminated.Orioles manager Buck Showalter immediately grasped the concept at Saturdays media availability and quickly dismissed it.That's a good question. No, Showalter said.This is not a group that's I think they understand the chance to roll the dice and do things and take advantage of an opportunity. And you were there last night; I think you could answer your own question, but I know you had to ask me.This is where veterans such as Jim Thome come in. Thome, a seemingly perennial playoff qualifier, who still hasnt won a World Series, was one of the most aggressive celebrators after the win over the Rangers.He may be in the final days of his baseball career, so hes going to enjoy it, but will tell his young teammates to take it seriously, that postseason visits arent guaranteed.The Orioles impressive performance against a reeling and overhyped Rangers team, can only help them.Joe Saunders and the bullpen held the highest scoring team in the majors to a lone run and no extra-base hits.In May, Josh Hamilton had a record five extra-base hits by himself. Nearly five months after Hamilton made Orioles pitching look overmatched, he was the one who looked amateurish on Friday.Hamilton served as a scapegoat for the Rangers, who lost seven of their last nine to lose the AL West title.No one wants their season to come down to a day. Thats part of the appeal of the new Wild Card games. Win your division, then begin the postseason with a five-game series, instead of just one. Its nice to be able to win that one-game playoff and get here into a long series, Matt Wieters said.In spring training, the goal for every team should not be to get to the Division Series. Our goal is to win a World Series.The Orioles got through what Showalter likes to call the sudden life game. Lots of things are forgotten. Theres no talk about Yankees fans packing Oriole Park. Therell be few on hand in the first two games.In 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays, fresh off 10 consecutive years of losing, went to the World Series in their first playoff run. Since then, the Rays havent been back, but are formidable competition for the Orioles and everyone else.Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez are the starters for the Orioles in the first three. Chris Tillman will probably be the fourth starter if one is needed. CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes are the Yankees probable.In his second postseason, Hammel is excited about proving the doubters wrong.It really means nothing to us. It's a bunch of people telling us we couldn't do anything. Obviously,we were supposed to finish last. That didn't happen. We weren't supposed to get to the playoffs, Hammel said.That didn't happen. It's something we don't really look at. We're going out there, playing baseball, having fun, pulling for each other, getting contributions from every facet of the game. It's basically come to an expectation for us. Somebody's going to get it done.The Yankees have been installed as 4-1 favorites to win the World Series by Bovada. The Orioles and Cardinals, Wild Card teams both, are the longest shots at 9-1.Obviously, the naysayers will say what they want. We're very confident in ourselves, and that's all that matters," Hammel said.
DETROIT - Leonys Martin hit his first big league grand slam, Jeimer Candelario had four hits and three RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 13-8 Thursday to extend the Orioles' losing streak to six.
Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs to Manny Machado and one to Chris Davis. Zimmermann was pitching for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a line drove off the bat of Cleveland's Jason Kipnis on April 11.
Alex Cobb (0-2) made his second start after signing a $57 million, four-year contract in spring training and his ERA rose to 15.43. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Machado had four RBIs for the Orioles, who were outhit 18-14 in the game and outscored 23-15 in the three-game sweep.
Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the first, but Davis put Baltimore ahead with a two-run homer in the second, his sixth hit and fourth homer in 10 career at-bats against Zimmermann.
Detroit went ahead for good with four runs in the bottom half after third baseman Tim Beckham's throwing error allowed James McCann to reach base leading off. Jose Iglesias hit a two-run triple, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Nick Castellanos a run-scoring groundout.
Machado's homer in the third cut Baltimore's deficit to 5-2, but Candelario's two-run homer extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half. Martin homered off Mike Wright Jr. in a five-run fifth.
DETROIT -- Dixon Machado came to the plate with only one big league homer to his name, but the way this game was going, anything seemed possible.
"Walking to the plate I was thinking, `What if I hit a homer right here?'" the Detroit infielder said. "He threw me a fastball away but when he came in with a pitch I was ready for it and I just hit it hard."
Machado led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run , capping a wild final two innings and lifting the Tigers over the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday. Detroit led 2-1 before each team scored three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.
Baltimore's Luis Sardinas tied it with a solo shot off Shane Greene (1-0) in the top of the ninth, but then the 26-year-old Machado hit a line drive off Pedro Araujo (1-2) that cleared the fence in left field. It was his second homer in 299 big league at-bats.
The game was moved from 6:40 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. in anticipation of bad weather. Although it was a sparse crowd, to say the least , the sun did come out, and those fans in attendance were treated to quite a few homers.
Miguel Cabrera went deep on his 35th birthday, and Jeimer Candelario and John Hicks also homered for Detroit. Hicks hit a three-run shot in the eighth that put the Tigers up 5-4.
Danny Valencia hit a solo homer for the Orioles, who have lost five straight.
Detroit's Matthew Boyd allowed a run, two hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six. Baltimore's Kevin Gausman allowed two runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.
Cabrera's solo homer put the Tigers up 2-1 in the sixth, but Manny Machado and Chris Davis hit RBI singles as part of a three-run rally by Baltimore in the eighth. The drive by Davis was nearly a home run, but it hit the wall and stayed in play.
"There were obviously a couple bad breaks -- our ball hits the top of the fence and comes back and their ball goes over -- but there were four or five breaks we got during the game on bounces or pitch calls," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If you lose focus and start feeling sorry for yourselves, every team you play is going to take advantage and step on your throat."