Palmeiro hit his 12th career grand slam in the fifth inning to key Baltimore’s rally from a four-run deficit, and four Orioles’ relievers held Detroit scoreless over the final six innings of a 14-7 victory Saturday night.
“Raffy’s the type of guy that can hit four, five, six home runs in a week, Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said. “He’s a guy and B.J. (Surhoff)’s a guy that are picking up the guys that are hurt.”
Melvin Mora also hit a grand slam, the second of his major league career.
Palmeiro’s drive to right with one out off Tigers starter Wilfredo Ledezma tied the score at 7. It was his first grand slam since July 28, 2003, for Texas at Seattle, and the 559th homer of his career.
Mora’s 11th homer of the year came against Doug Creek with two outs, and was his first grand slam since June 4, 2004.
“It’s good. You look to scrap back in that situation, and we were able to get four back and it changed the game,” Mazzilli said.
Tigers manager Alan Trammell was disappointed by the loss but he is not going to hang his head over it.
“It wasn’t one of our better games but the way we’ve been playing, I’m not going to get all bent out of shape,” Trammell said. “This team has been grinding, we’ve been playing very hard, this is one that is few and far between.”
The crowd of 33,451 responded enthusiastically when the scoreboard showed that the Pistons beat the Miami Heat 91-66 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Baltimore roughed up Ledezma for seven hits and seven runs—five earned— in 4 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out two. Ledezma was replaced by Chris Spurling in the fifth.
Jamie Walker (2-3) gave up two hits and a run in the seventh while getting just two outs.
Rodrigo Lopez fared no better for the Orioles, allowing seven runs on six hits with one strikeout in three innings. Parrish relived Lopez in the fourth, struck out five and gave up four hits. Reed came on in the sixth inning and got one out for the win.
“I felt like the effort was good tonight and the energy was there, but I never could get any kind of stamina,” Lopez said.
Parrish said he tried to be aggressive.
“I’ve always started slow, but once you get locked in after a few games you start to feel comfortable,” Parrish said.
Rondell White hit a three-run shot off Lopez in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. White hit his sixth homer after Ramon Martinez reached first on a wild pitch on the third strike and Carlos Guillen walked.
White’s hitting streak is the longest by a Tigers player since Trammell hit safely in 21 games in 1987.
Baltimore tied it 3-all in the second when it scored two runs on an error by shortstop Tony Giarratano, who misplayed Geronimo Gil’s grounder, but Detroit got three more in the bottom half highlighted by Guillen’s two-run double to deep left-center.
Craig Monroe’s sacrifice fly in the third extended Detroit’s lead to 7-3.
Pinch-hitter David Newhan scored in the eighth on Giarratano’s second error of the game to give Baltimore a 9-7 advantage.
Baltimore 2B Brian Roberts, hitting .368, could return to the lineup as soon as Monday after injuring his shoulder earlier in the week. He had an MRI Friday in Baltimore. … Baltimore OF Luis Matos and LHP Erik Bedard are on the 15-day disabled list. Matos has a broken ring finger on his right hand. Bedard has a sprained left knee. Mazzilli said both could undergo rehabilitation assignments. … The Orioles have been alone atop their division since April 23. … Detroit’s Monroe extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single. … Orioles catcher Gil left the game in the fifth with a bruised left thumb. He will undergo X-rays. Mazzilli said Surhoff will be the team’s emergency catcher until his return.