Mora’s homer, 4 RBIs give Orioles 11-2 win
DETROIT (AP)—A healthy Melvin Mora has given a boost to the entire Orioles offense.
Mora finished a double shy of the cycle Friday night, driving in four runs to lift Baltimore to an 11-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. He finished 3-for-4 and has 15 RBIs in his last seven games.
“To watch him right now is fun,” said Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts. “He’s locked in. And when there’s a man on base, it seems like he turns it up a notch.”
Since the All-Star break, when he had a cortisone shot in a sore shoulder, Mora is hitting .404 (44-for-109) with seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 26 games.
“It doesn’t bother me anymore,” said Mora. “I can throw the ball and hit with power.”
His offensive production has corresponded with a sudden charge by the Orioles offense. Baltimore has scored 66 runs in its last eight games.
“For the most part, we’re not reluctant to get deep in the count,” said Orioles manager Dave Trembley. “And as you saw later in the game, we’re not afraid of using the other side of the field.”
Reliever Lance Cormier (2-3) picked up the win in relief, allowing only a hit in 2 1-3 innings against a potent but suddenly scuffling Detroit lineup. He relieved starter Chris Waters with two out and runners on first and second in the fifth, and got Marcus Thames to bounce into a force play to preserve a 5-2 lead.
“We scored a lot of runs and Cormier came in and got the key out of the game,” said Trembley.
Nate Robertson (7-9) allowed five runs—four earned—and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Tigers.
“My mechanics were off from the very start,” he said. “I missed a couple of pitches and it cost me.”
His team gave him very little help on defense. Detroit committed three errors in losing for the 11th time in its last 15 games.
“It was pretty ugly,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Aubrey Huff’s two-out RBI single in the first gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead, and the Orioles added two more in the second when Brian Roberts’ single brought in Luke Scott and Juan Castro followed him home on a throwing error by right-fielder Magglio Ordonez.
Mora’s 18th home run made it 4-0 in the third.
Placido Polanco put the Tigers on the board with a two-run homer in the fifth, but despite piling up 11 hits, those were the only runs Detroit could muster.
“We got a lot of hits, but no runs,” said Leyland. “We were able to get good swings with the bats but weren’t able to get the key hit.”
Mora hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Baltimore added six more runs in the ninth.
Lou Montanez was credited with an RBI on a bases-loaded grounder that Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera bobbled, and two more runs came in on Castro’s fielder’s choice grounder. Castro got an RBI and the other run scored on Polanco’s error.
The Tigers’ second baseman got the relay at second on a grounder to short, but his throw hit the hand of Montanez, who was sliding into second. Polanco argued that Montanez blocked the throw intentionally and was ejected by first base umpire Ron Kulpa.
Mora added a bases-loaded, two-run single later in the inning, and Huff drove in the final run with another single.
The Orioles agreed to terms with their 2008 first-round draft pick, LHP Brian Matusz, on Friday. He was the fourth pick overall in the draft. Baltimore had until midnight to agree to terms with him or he would have gone back into next year’s draft pool. … The Tigers activated RHP Todd Jones (right shoulder inflammation) from the 15-day disabled list Friday. Jones allowed three hits and five unearned runs in two-thirds of an inning. … Detroit LF Thames returned after missing five games with a sore shoulder.