For the first time since April 23, the Detroit Tigers have won two games in a row.
Pitching was key, as a second straight passable performance by the highly-scrutinized Ryan Carpenter paved the way for the surprising Nick Ramirez to lock Baltimore down for three perfect innings. Shane Greene caged the O’s in the final frame to get Detroit their first series win since May 3-5 when they took two of three from the Royals.
Carpenter started the game off by doing Ryan Carpenter things, hitting Trey Mancini in the foot with an off-speed pitch in the first inning. Renato Nunez then sent a ball into the left-center gap and Mancini was sent home in an aggressive move which paid off when the relay throw from Niko Goodrum made things too difficult for John Hicks to apply the tag, allowing Baltimore to take a quick lead.
The beleaguered starter composed himself, though, as he would only allow one more run on a Keon Broxton home run across five innings, dodging multiple bullets (both on the basepaths and in line-drives directly at his face) along the way.
Goodrum eventually became the Tigers’ first base-runner of the game in the fourth on an infield single, then scored on a play which closely resembled that of the Orioles’ first run.
The score would not be tied for long, as Broxton’s aforementioned no-doubter gave Baltimore its lead right back in the fourth inning.
Once Carpenter exited following the fifth, Nick Ramirez continued his surprisingly strong season, pitching three clean innings in relief with five strikeouts as bats on both sides went quiet...
...until John Hicks made noise. To lead-off the eighth inning, the catcher hit a 433-foot blast to left field, evening the score at two apiece.
Ramirez shut down the Orioles for the third straight inning before the top of the ninth when Brandon Dixon did what Brandon Dixon has done best: hit a clutch home run to deliver a Tigers victory.
The Good: Ryan Carpenter has seemingly shaken off his brutal start to the season and has pitched relatively well for a Tigers team that has dealt with a severe lack of starting pitchers lately. His performance paired with the nine-up-nine-down and five strikeout clinic from Ramirez, along with a scoreless ninth from Greene made things easier on the offense.
The Bad: Ronny Rodriguez has four hits in his last 48 at-bats since May 15. If only the Tigers had someone they could call up to replace the black hole he has created in the lineup.
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