- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Detroit Tigers took a lead and gave it up. Then, after battling back, they let the game get out of hand.

Detroit faded miserably down the stretch and lost 9-3 to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night, its 11th defeat in 12 games.

Anabel Sanchez kept Baltimore’s high-powered offense in check for five innings, and a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera provided the Tigers with a 2-0 lead.

But the Orioles scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth and added one in the seventh on the first of Jonathan Schoop’s two home runs.

Victor Martinez singled in a run in the eighth for the Tigers, giving them hope of completing the comeback against Baltimore’s weary bullpen.

But Adam Jones homered in the bottom half and Schoop added a grand slam off Mark Lowe to turn the close game into a rout.

“Every time we were able to do something, we gave up a run or gave up the lead in the next half inning,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. “You can’t win that way.”

On May 1, the Tigers were 14-10 and in second place in the AL Central. Now they’re 15-21 and mired in fourth.

“It’s one of those things we have to fight through,” catcher James McCann said. “You hear a lot of talk about external pressure, but again the highest expectations are from the guys in this room and right now we’re not living up to those expectations.”

Cabrera’s fifth homer off Mike Wright (2-3) ended Detroit’s run of 17 straight scoreless innings, but the Tigers need a win Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

Matt Wieters hit a two-run drive in the sixth inning to put Baltimore up 3-2 and Schoop made it 4-2 in the seventh. Both long balls came off Sanchez (3-4), who has struggled after the fifth inning this season.

“It’s almost like the sixth inning is a wall he hits,” Ausmus said. “His pitch count was down. I don’t think he was tired.”

Maybe it was just that the Orioles were overdue.

“This team is capable of doing anything,” Schoop said. “No matter if you’re losing by seven, six, five runs, you believe you can score the same amount of runs.”

After Wright pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, Brad Brach yielded a run in the eighth but got three outs in the ninth for his first save.

The flurry of runs in the latter part of the game followed a five-inning duel between Wright and Sanchez in the early going.

Detroit used a single and two walks to load the bases with one out in the third for Cabrera, who hit a soft liner to second base that Schoop fielded on one hop and turned into a 4-6-3 double play.


Before the game, a reporter asked Ausmus if the skidding Tigers simply might not be that good.

“I think the team is good,” he replied. “You can blame me. That’s what happens anyway.”


Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (left wrist fracture) is expected to be activated from the DL during the nine-game homestand that begins Monday. “Barring a setback, very likely he might get a start,” Ausmus said. … RHP Shane Greene (blister) had a throwing session Friday that did not go well. “He was fine in terms of the finger but he wasn’t real crisp,” Ausmus said.

Orioles: Yovani Gallardo (shoulder tendinitis) tested his arm by playing catch from 60 feet on flat ground, his first throwing session since going on the DL April 23. “It feels like my shoulder is not restricted. You can definitely tell the difference,” he said.


Tigers: Michael Fulmer (2-1, 6.00 ERA) makes the fourth start of his major league career in the series finale.

Orioles: Kevin Gausman (0-1, 2.16) vies for his first win in five starts as Baltimore seeks its first four-game sweep of Detroit since 1992.

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