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Orioles slump continues with another loss to the Tigers

Orioles slump continues with another loss to the Tigers

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers could use more power from their designated hitter, and Victor Martinez is finally providing some.

Martinez hit a two-run homer off Dylan Bundy to put Detroit ahead in the fifth inning, and the Tigers went on to a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. It was the second home run in three games for Martinez, who had gone deep only once previously on the season.

After a sluggish start, Martinez is hitting .360 in May.

"A little more luck, finding holes. That's it," he said. "You don't get paid just to put a good swing and hit the ball right at people, because at the end of the day, fans, everybody is going to say that you're struggling, but the reality is that you're hitting the ball good, right at people. That doesn't count. Everybody wants results, right?"

The Tigers will now be without Martinez for a little while. He's set to go on the paternity list Friday, and he said after Thursday's game that his wife is having a cesarean section. Manager Brad Ausmus said Detroit would call up right-hander Buck Farmer.

Detroit took two of three from the Orioles. J.D. Martinez hit a three-run shot in the third, and the Tigers ended a streak of eight straight quality starts by Bundy (5-2) to begin the season. The Baltimore right-hander allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings.

Jordan Zimmermann (4-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, and three relievers finished for Detroit. Alex Wilson pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.

Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Seth Smith homered for the Orioles. Baltimore led 3-0 before J.D. Martinez tied it with his fifth home run in six games.

"I wasn't commanding the ball very well and they made me pay for it," Bundy said. "Three pitches I left up in the zone, and two of them they hit out of the park and it cost me today."

Detroit's Miguel Cabrera sat out with a strained oblique, and Baltimore's Manny Machado was out with a sore finger.

Jones hit a solo shot in the fifth to put the Orioles ahead 4-3, but after J.D. Martinez drew a one-out walk in the bottom half, Victor Martinez followed with a drive to right.

"He was obviously struggling early and slowly came around," Ausmus said. "Now he's actually driving the ball. He's hit a few home runs here lately, but he's hitting balls in the gaps. Even some of the outs are deep center field."

Alex Avila added an RBI double that inning to make it 6-4.

Smith's home run in the seventh cut the deficit in half, but Detroit's bullpen was able to hold on.

Davis opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the first, and Smith's RBI single in the second made it 3-0.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

J.D. Martinez didn't play at all this season until last Friday, when he returned from a sprained foot. Since coming off the disabled list, he is 8 for 16 with five homers, 11 RBIs, seven runs and nine walks.

"He rolled out of bed hot," Ausmus said. "I hope he doesn't cool down for another 4 months."

SLUMP

The Orioles have lost six of seven, although all six of those defeats were by one run.

"It seems like every time we do something offensively, we go out there and kind of give it back up," manager Buck Showalter said. "Those shut-down innings haven't been there for us and to get the opportunity to go back in the dugout and try to add on. It seems like we're always trying to dig ourselves out of a hole."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Smith was shaken up in the fifth when a ball he hit bounced up and hit him in the left side of the face while he was in the batter's box. He was able to stay in the game.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Baltimore starts a three-game home series against Toronto on Friday night. RHP Chris Tillman (1-0) starts for the Orioles against RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-1).

Tigers: Detroit sends LHP Daniel Norris (2-2) to the mound against Texas RHP Nick Martinez (0-2) in the opener of a three-game set against the Rangers.

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

RELATED: NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0