Orioles 5, Tigers 0
Lopez pitched a three-hitter for his second career shutout, and the Orioles completed their first season sweep of Detroit with a 5-0 victory Sunday.
Miguel Tejada homered and drove in three runs, and B.J. Surhoff also connected for the Orioles, who went 6-0 against the Tigers in 2004—the first time in the 51 years that Baltimore has been in the AL that the Orioles went unbeaten against Detroit.
“That’s pretty impressive, no matter who you play,” Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said.
Baltimore outscored the Tigers 22-12 during a three-game sweep in Detroit in May, then beat the Tigers by a combined 15-5 margin in this weekend’s sweep.
“The first time we played them in Detroit they waxed us,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “This time was a little more competitive. But the fact is, they’re losses.”
Lopez (14-8) struck out seven and walked none in winning his fourth straight decision. He allowed only one runner past first base in his first complete game of the season and fifth of his career. His only other shutout came last September against Oakland.
“It just seemed like he was in complete control from start to finish,” Mazzilli said.
Lopez started the season in the bullpen, but eventually worked his way back to the starting rotation and now leads the Orioles in victories.
“I don’t want to think anymore about the bullpen, just my job as a starter. All of that is behind me,” he said. “Today, all the pitches worked pretty good. So far this is my best performance of the year.”
Detroit, which failed to score in the final 21 innings of the series, has lost five straight and seven of eight. The Tigers have been blanked five times this season, including twice in two days.
“Back-to-back shutouts; that’s not what you’re looking for,” Trammell said. “We have a little gut-checking time right now.”
Tejada hit a two-run homer and singled in a run in a two-run eighth. His three RBIs gave him a major league-leading 142 for the season, tying the club record set by Rafael Palmeiro in 1996.
“He’s just an amazing player,” Mazzilli said.
Tejada hit a game-winning homer Friday night and drove in a run Saturday in a 3-0 win before accounting for the majority of Baltimore’s offense Sunday.
“A little too much Miguel Tejada in this series,” Trammell said. “He’s certainly an All-Star and an MVP candidate.”
The Orioles’ fourth straight win put them within six games of .500 (74-80) for the first time since Aug. 20. They next play four games at home against Toronto before closing the season with a four-game series against Boston at Camden Yards.
Surhoff led off the second with his seventh homer for a 3-0 lead.
That was more than enough offense for Lopez, who allowed two hits in the third and one in the sixth. His previous best performance was a five-hitter, accomplished twice.
Maroth allowed five runs and nine hits in 7 2-3 innings.
Tejada has hit in 13 straight games. … Detroit’s Brandon Inge went 0-for-3 and is mired in an 0-for-13 slump. … It was the Tigers’ second straight game without an extra-base hit and only the third in their last 46. … Baltimore 1B Jose Leon strained his left calf running out a grounder and is probably done for the season.