Now one of the game's most feared lefty swingers gets his first chance to take aim at an inviting B&O Warehouse.
Fielder will make his first appearance at Camden Yards as the Tigers look to extend their season-high win streak to six Friday night in the opener of a three-game set against the surprising Baltimore Orioles , who have activated injured outfielder Nick Markakis .
Signed to a $214 million, nine-year contract by Detroit (44-42) in the offseason, Fielder has turned in his typical production with 15 homers and 63 RBIs to rank second on the team in those departments to Miguel Cabrera .
"I think the baseball stays the same, but as far as off the field and getting to know your teammates, that's a little different," said Fielder, who has three homers and 10 RBIs during this win streak. "But once the game starts, it's the same."
Fielder totaled 28 home runs over three rounds to win Monday's Home Run Derby in Kansas City. He had the four longest drives of the night, including a pair at 476 feet.
That distance would be enough to reach B&O Warehouse, which sits 439 feet from home plate beyond right field at Camden Yards. Fielder's only previous games against Baltimore (45-40) came when he went 5 for 11 with three homers in a 2008 series in Milwaukee.
Markakis is set to make his first appearance since May 29 after being on the disabled list for the first time in his career with a broken bone in his wrist.
He's 6 for 14 off Tigers starter Doug Fister (2-6, 4.75 ERA), who is 0-4 with a 4.89 ERA in six road outings. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 4.68 ERA in four career starts against the Orioles.
Baltimore starter Jason Hammel (8-5, 3.47) is the staff leader in victories, but he's 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA in his last three outings. He's 2-0 with a 6.61 ERA in three career starts against Detroit.
Fielder is 2 for 10 with a homer against the right-hander while Jhonny Peralta is 5 for 12.
The Orioles are over .500 at the All-Star break for the first time since 2005, although they have dropped nine of 13. They are optimistic about ending a string of 14 straight losing seasons since the franchise's last playoff berth in 1997.
"The story's yet to be written," manager Buck Showalter said. "The season's not over. It's an unfinished story. I mean, everybody this time of year knows they've done some things good and some things that they've got to do better at.
"It's more of a mental thing than anything else. We've got some important times ahead of us and we want to stay competitive."
Detroit has been a disappointment after winning 95 games to capture the AL Central last year and then adding Fielder. The Tigers are in third place in the division, but have been playing better lately and sit 3 1/2 games behind Chicago.
These clubs split 10 meetings last year.
|July 02, 2012||Max Scherzer||Day-to-Day||Left hamstring soreness|
|June 25, 2012||Alex Avila||Day-to-Day||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 19, 2012||Jose Valverde||Day-to-Day||Right wrist|
|June 11, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Severe blister, left middle finger|
|June 11, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Severe blister, left middle finger|
|June 06, 2012||Alex Avila||15-Day DL||Aggravated right hamstring strain|
|July 02, 2012||Brian Roberts||15-Day DL||Torn muscle, right hip|
|June 28, 2012||Nick Johnson||15-Day DL||Sprained right wrist|
|June 27, 2012||Nick Johnson||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right wrist|
|June 13, 2012||Brian Matusz||Day-to-Day||Bruised nose|
|June 13, 2012||Endy Chavez||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|June 12, 2012||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - Strained right hamstring|
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The four-day break for the All-Star game did absolutely nothing to slow the momentum of the resurgent Detroit Tigers .
Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta homered, Doug Fister pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, and Detroit beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 on Friday night for its sixth straight victory.
Brennan Boesh had two RBIs for the Tigers, who moved three games over .500 (45-42) for the first time since April 24, when they were 10-7.
"We had a little break from each other, saw our families and did whatever we needed to do for a few days," Fister said. "We came back, reconvened, and we played well together. That's the biggest key for us."
Eight players totaled 13 hits for the Tigers, who went 4 for 8 with runners in scoring position and scored six of their seven runs with two outs.
"Everybody came out hot and we were swinging the bats well," Fister said.
Cabrera hit his 19th home run in the fifth inning, a majestic drive to center off Luis Ayala that traveled an estimated 454 feet and provided Detroit with a 4-1 lead. Four batters later, Peralta hit a three-run, opposite-field shot to right off Dana Eveland .
Fister (3-6) gave up one run, struck out eight and walked none to earn his first road win in seven tries this season. Fister, who retired 12 straight at one point, has won two straight starts after dropping three in a row.
"It was a good way to start," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He had little bit of a tough first half physically. I wanted to show a little confidence in him. I thought it was good to get him out there right off the bat and he responded very well."
Detroit's Delmon Young had two hits and scored a run, but his streak of games with at least one home run ended at four, one short of the club record.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel (8-6) left in the fourth inning with a right knee injury. After throwing a pitch to Boesh, Hammel came off the mound awkwardly. He took a few practice throws before being removed by manager Buck Showalter.
It's the same knee that has been bothering Hammel for much of the season, and the Orioles can only hope the right-hander won't miss much time. Hammel, Baltimore's winningest pitcher, allowed two runs and five hits in three-plus innings. He has lost his last four starts.
"I was driving toward the plate and it didn't feel good," Hammel said. "Something felt really bad. It's the same area as the injury was before. It's kind of just day to day. We scheduled an MRI for (Saturday) and we'll find out more, but as of right now, we don't really know what's going on here."
Like Hammel, Baltimore is experiencing a substantial drop off following a surprisingly strong start. The Orioles have lost seven of 10 and are 6-14 in their last 20 games.
Sidelined with a wrist injury since May 29, Baltimore's Nick Markakis returned to the lineup and hit in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career. He went 1 for 4 with a third-inning RBI.
Baltimore scored its other run in the ninth when All-Star Matt Wieters doubled in All-Star Adam Jones .
With Markakis back in right field, Chris Davis played left field in the majors for the first time. Showalter said he was willing to take the risk because Davis "makes up for it with his bat."
Davis didn't make an error, but he didn't get a hit, either.
The Tigers averaged 6.2 runs in the five games before the All-Star break, and in the first inning it became apparent that the four-day layoff did nothing to hamper their productivity. Three of the first four Detroit batters singled to load the bases, and a two-out single by Boesh made it 2-0.
Baltimore ended the season's first half by being shut out in consecutive games by the Angels, and the Orioles' run of consecutive scoreless innings stretched to 24 until doubles by Wilson Betemit and Markakis made it 2-1 in the third.
After Hammel left in the fourth, Ayala retired the first two batters before giving up successive doubles to Alex Avila and Ryan Raburn .
NOTES: The Orioles activated OF Endy Chavez (hamstring) from the 15-day DL. OF Xavier Avery was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday. ... The Tigers recalled INF Danny Worth from Triple-A Toledo. RHP Jose Ortega was optioned to Toledo on Sunday. ... Showalter says 2B Brian Roberts is still weighing his options on how to deal with a groin injury that put him on the DL on July 3. One of those options is surgery. "It's a challenging decision for him," Showalter said. ... The Orioles agreed to terms with LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman, the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. He received a standing ovation after the third inning.