BALTIMORE (AP) -
walked off the mound, waved his cap and blew a kiss to a few special fans. The right-hander was disappointed about coming
within an out of completing a three-hitter, yet that was arguably his only regret during a very memorable afternoon.
Verlander impressed family and friends with a masterful pitching performance,
hit solo homers, and the
their 15th consecutive Sunday loss, 5-1.
Verlander was raised near Richmond, Va., before pitching for Old Dominion, and several in the crowd of 23,278 traveled the
150 miles north to see him pitch.
''I left 21 tickets but I saw a bunch of other people I knew,'' Verlander said.
Referring to his gesture as he headed to the dugout, he said, ''My whole family was up there, so that's just my way of telling
them I love you guys. Obviously I can't go up there and say that.''
Verlander (8-9) was replaced by
after allowing his second walk of the ninth inning. Jones walked
made an excellent diving stab of a grounder down the third-base line by
, then threw to first from his knees to end it.
''What was going through my mind at that time? Verlander pitched a great game. There was no chance I was going to let this
ball get to the outfield,'' Inge said. ''Whether I make the play or not, there is no chance this ball is getting by me.''
Verlander retired 16 straight batters between a second-inning double by
and a seventh-inning double by Millar. The only other hit against him was an eighth-inning single by
''He had good stuff. I was wondering how he had such a high ERA (4.15) coming into the game with the way he threw today,''
Huff said. ''That's the Verlander that I've seen in the past. He has such a big differential between his off-speed pitches
and his fastball.''
Verlander walked three and struck out three.
''Obviously, I wanted to go all nine, but 8 2-3 will do,'' he said.
The Tigers have won each of Verlander's last six starts, and he's unbeaten in eight outings since June 6. During that span
he recorded Detroit's lone complete game this season, against the
Chicago White Sox
had two RBIs for the Tigers, who gained a split of the four-game series to move back to .500 (49-49).
Scott drove in the lone run for the Orioles, whose 15-game skid on Sundays is the longest on any given day since Arizona dropped
15 in a row on Saturdays in 2004, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Baltimore has been outscored 81-41 in Sunday games
since winning its first one of the season, at home against Seattle.
''It's frustrating,'' Quiroz said. ''It's something that we have to get out of the way.''
The Tigers took a 3-1 lead with a two-run sixth against
(7-6). After second baseman
made a barehanded pickup on the outfield grass before throwing out
, Thames hit a breaking ball inside the left-field foul pole for his 19th home run. Inge doubled and Raburn followed with
an RBI single to chase Burres.
In the seventh, Millar doubled with two outs before Verlander struck out Scott.
''Unbelievable. Tremendous. That's a big-game pitcher coming up big-time,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
The Tigers made it 5-1 in the eighth. Cabrera singled and Thames doubled before Inge hit a run-scoring grounder and Raburn
singled in Thames.
Detroit used two walks and a single to load the bases with two outs in the first, but Burres recovered to strike out Thames.
Baltimore got a second-inning run when Huff walked and scored on a double by Scott, who went to third on the throw home. Scott
then got caught in a rundown after breaking for home on a grounder while Detroit had the infield in.
But that was the extent of the Orioles' offensive production.
''The momentum never really came on our side,'' manager Dave Trembley said. ''We had that one scoring opportunity when Huff
scored all the way from first base (before) that very bad decision by Luke when he was in the rundown. It seemed to take a
little air out of the balloon for us.''
Ordonez tied it in the third with his 13th home run.
Notes: After the game, Detroit recalled RHP
from Triple-A Toledo and optioned OF
to the same club. Miner will start Monday against Kansas City. ... Orioles CF
was a late scratch with a right ankle injury, which occurred on the base paths Saturday. ... The Tigers improved to 20-7 in
games against left-handed starters. ... Twenty-six of Thames' last 40 hits have been for extra bases.