Brandon Inge is finally starting to hit again, and in a big way for the Detroit Tigers.
Inge went 3-for-4, driving in four runs, and Carlos Guillen had three hits and three RBIs in a wild 12-9 victory for the Tigers in their series opener with the Baltimore Orioles.Inge is now hitting .266 for the season after struggling much of the year in the .220 range.
Miguel Cabrera also had two hits and two RBIs for the Tigers, who took the first of a three game set with Baltimore.
Inge singled in a run in the first, part of a five-run inning that gave the Tigers a 5-1 lead, and doubled in two more runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Tigers starter Andy Oliver was poor in his third start for Detroit, unable to hold the 5-1 lead given to him. Oliver gave up four hits, six runs (five earned) in just 1 2-3 innings. Oliver yielded five runs in the second inning, two of which scored off reliever Eddie Bonine.
The Tigers were undeterred however, quickly regaining the lead in the bottom of the second. Guillen singled in two runs, then Brandon Inge drove in another to give the Tigers a 8-6 lead. It appeared the circus would continue when Jake Fox homered in the top of the third for the Orioles to cut the lead to 8-7, but the Orioles wouldn’t threaten again until late in the game.
Every Tiger starter in the lineup had at least one base hit except for Brennan Boesch. The rookie, who was snubbed in the voting for the All Star game, was 0-for-1 but drew an incredible four walks, scoring three times.
Kevin Millwood (2-9) looked like he might salvage his season, winning his last two of his last three decisions after starting the year 0-8. The Tigers quickly derailed him again, tagging him for four hits and five earned runs in just one inning, which was all Millwood was able to last.
Five Tigers relievers held the Orioles at bay over the final 7 1-3 innings. Bonine (4-0) gave up six hits and three runs, two of which were charged to Oliver, in 2 2-3 innings. Brad Thomas, Ryan Perry and Phil Coke combined to pitch 3 2-3 innings, giving up just one run and one hit between them.
Closer Jose Valverde got roughed a bit in the ninth, giving up two runs with one out to let the Orioles back within three. It was just the second time this season he’s allowed a team to score. Valverde recovered, recording the final two outs without incident.