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Tigers drop series finale to Orioles, return home 2 1/2 games up

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Final - 8.14.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 10 1
Baltimore Orioles 2 1 0 0 3 2 0 0 X 8 14 2
WP: Jo-Jo Reyes (6 - 9)
SV: Jim Johnson (2)
LP: Doug Fister (4 - 13)

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BOX

KEY STAT

Doug Fister: 12 hits, 8 runs (6 earned), 5 2/3 innings. 5 strikeouts too.

KEY PLAYS

Andy Dirks strikes out, Magglio Ordonez grounds out, Brennan Boesch flies out. All happened in the ninth inning after Detroit could do no wrong at the plate. Boesch's hit may have had some chance to fall in. But judging by the replay, it doesn't look like it took the No. 1 web gem to make the out, either.

KEY THOUGHTS

Jim Leyland questioned whether he should have pinch ran Will Rhymes for Victor Martinez in the ninth inning. Maybe not. Rhymes scored, but the next time he came up in the batting order Leyland decided to pinch hit Brennan Boesch for him. But honestly, it was 8-1. I have a hard time getting too caught up in one decision in the ninth inning.

Leyland:

"I was just trying to save Victor some. I still felt good with Brennan going up there, particularly in this park, but it was just a move that didn't work out -- and that's all on my shoulders, nobody else's."

Doug Fister was not real sharp. He was not helped by a piss-poor defensive lineup behind him either. I know the Tigers will not field a real great defensive team this season, but it's incredible just how bad of a team they can put on the field.

It would have been nice to sweep the Orioles. I know they say you always hope to go .500 on the road, and Detroit finished the trip 5-4. But it really looked like a good opportunity for the Tigers to take six games. The net result of the trip is that the Indians are 1/2 a game closer than they were on Aug. 4. So that's actually a decent result. But Chicago is 2 1/2 games closer after playing 7 out of their past 10 games on the road. So that's a pretty bad thing.