To say the Orioles have struggled against the Detroit Tigers this year would be an understatement.
The Tigers have been kryptonite to the Orioles this season. After the most recent series between the two, the Orioles walked away going 1-5 against the second worst team in the AL.
To put it into perspective, the Orioles avoided having the Tigers complete their first ever season sweep against the Orioles in their history.
The Orioles waited until the third inning of the last game to earn their first lead against Detroit all season long. They had scored a total of five runs in five games going into the final game of the series.
To compound matters, the Orioles were 1-for-26 with RISP before going 5-for-10 in Wednesday’s 8-1 victory.
What was even better about the victory Wednesday night is that the Orioles remain four games behind the Mariners for the final AL Wild Card spot with 14 games left to play.
Game one of the series was ugly right from the start. Tyler Wells, making his third appearance since returning from the IL, would last only three innings.
He allowed an RBI single to Miguel Carbrera in the first. He then would pitch two clean innings before allowing two runs in the fourth and would ultimately be charged with five earned runs, allowing four hits and three walks.
The bullpen would follow, allowing six runs in six innings of work. Though the last two runs, and inning, were charged to outfielder Ryan McKenna.
On the offensive side, the Orioles would wait until the bottom of the seventh to record their first, and only, two hits of the game. They would drop the game, 11-0.
Game two would go a little better for the Birds, but ultimately they would still come up short.
They fell behind on a two-run homer in the third inning by Akil Badoo, his second long ball of the season and the first since April 13 of this year. Kerry Carpenter would also hit a home run in the seventh to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Gunnar Henderson would hit a two-run home run to pull the Orioles within one run, but it wasn’t enough, as Baltimore dropped the game, 3-2.
The home run was Henderson’s third since he was called up to the big league club but also his first in front of the Camden Yards Faithful.
Game three was a display of youth for the Orioles, as Henderson, Adley Rutschman, Kyle Stowers and Terrin Vavra would all be in the lineup for the game.
Stowers would have the biggest game of his young career, going 2-for-4 with a home run and collecting three RBIs.
For the game, the four rookies combined for six hits, two walks, six RBIs and four runs scored, as they propelled the offense to score eight runs total.
On the mound, the Orioles’ veteran, Jordan Lyles, would pitch a complete game. He would require just 94 pitches, allowing three hits and one run.
It was Lyles’ first complete game since September 30, 2012, when he was with the Astros. It was also the first complete game for the Orioles since John Means’ no-hitter May 5, 2021.
Lyles’ compete game was the first complete game at home for an Orioles’ pitcher since Dylan Bundy’s back on August 29, 2017, and the fewest pitches (94) in a complete game since Sydney Ponson threw 88 on May 20, 2004, against Tampa Bay.
The Baltimore Battery ❌-FACTOR going into the series was the O’s starting pitching.
The series saw Tyler Wells, Austin Voth and Jordan Lyles take the hill. Wells would last only three innings, but Voth and Lyles would produce stronger outings.
Voth would pitch five innings in a losing effort before Lyles came through with a complete game, giving the bullpen a night off.
It’s fair to say, stronger and deeper starts by Wells and Voth might have gone a long way towards changing the tune of the series.
The Orioles are set to open a four-game series with Houston starting Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. EST. With their Wild Card hopes hanging by a thread, this becomes another huge series for the Birds.
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