Knowing he won’t be in the playoffs for the first time since 1999 isn’t slowing Miguel Tejada down one bit.
Tejada, who reached the postseason with the Oakland Athletics the previous four years, signed with Baltimore as a free agent last winter. While the Orioles dropped out of serious contention for the playoffs months ago, Tejada has continued to enjoy one of his most productive seasons.
Tejada hit a game-winning, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning — his 31st of the year—and drove in four runs in Friday’s series-opening 7-5 victory over the Tigers, boosting his major league-leading RBI total to 138.
Tejada also hit a three-run shot at Boston on Thursday, helping Baltimore to a 9-7 win over the Red Sox.
“When we got first and second, no out, I was just trying to get a hit to bring the run the home,” Tejada said. “I’m just to happy to do it.”
Tejada already has seven more RBIs than he did during his AL MVP season with Oakland in 2002. He is three homers shy of his total for that year, and is batting three points higher at .311.
Tejada, who finished 4-for-5 on Friday, is hitting .375 (18-for-48) with four homers and 13 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.
The Orioles, who played spoiler in Boston by splitting a four-game set with the Red Sox during the week, have won seven of 11 overall and all four meetings with Detroit this season.
Carlos Pena homered for the Tigers, who have lost three straight and five of six.