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Jacob Turner Takes The Hill As Tigers Open Series Against Orioles

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(Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles have relished their role of spoilers the last week. Tonight, they try to dent the Detroit Tigers' hopes of finishing with the American League's best record when they open a four-game series at Comerica Park.

After taking two of three from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last weekend, the Orioles ended the Boston Red Sox' hopes of an American League East title and hurt their overall playoff chances by taking three of four at Fenway Park.

On Wednesday, Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run single in the eighth inning to lift Baltimore to a 6-4 win.

Guerrero may have smacked the go-ahead hit, but Mark Reynolds did most of the damage Wednesday with two homers off Josh Beckett and three runs batted in.

Tommy Hunter pitched into the seventh inning for Baltimore before leaving after he tweaked his groin on the mound. He gave up four runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. Clay Rapada (2-0) got the last out in the seventh and the first out in the eighth to earn the win.

Getting the call for the O's tonight will be rookie Zach Britton, who is 10-10 with a 4.28 ERA. Britton won for the fourth time in five decisions on Saturday against the Angels, as he allowed a run and three hits in seven innings.

Britton, who has never faced the Tigers, can become the first O's rookie to win 12 games tonight since Daniel Cabrera went 12-8 in 2004.

The Tigers, meanwhile, continued to roll towards the postseason on Wednesday, as Miguel Cabrera hit a go-ahead pinch-hit RBI double and Don Kelly added a two-run homer to cap a three-run eighth inning, lifting Detroit to a 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Victor Martinez drove in three runs, Kelly finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Austin Jackson also scored twice for the AL Central-champion Tigers, who finished the road portion of their 2011 schedule with a mark of 45-36.

"This was a very long road trip, a 10-day road trip. We went 6-3, so that's pretty good at any time of the year," Tigers catcher Alex Avila said.

Max Scherzer lasted five innings in the start and gave up two runs on five hits. Doug Fister (10-13) got the win as he yielded just one unearned run on two hits in three innings.

The Tigers, who are 3-3 since a 12-game winning streak, are tied with the Texas Rangers, five games back of the Yankees in the race for the best record in the American League.

Hoping to get them a little closer in that category tonight, the Tigers turn to 2009 first pick Jacob Turner, who will be making his third start. Turner is 0-1 with the Tigers and has pitched to a 7.45 ERA.

Detroit has split its six games with the Orioles this season.