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Jones, Orioles finally get best of Verlander in 5-2 win over Tigers

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander made Adam Jones look helpless on many occasions. Jones finally got some revenge against the Detroit Tigers ace on Tuesday.

Jones blasted a three-run homer in the fifth inning, lifting the Baltimore Orioles to a 5-2 victory at Comerica Park.

Jones had gone 2-for-26 lifetime against Verlander, including a bases-loaded popup in the third, before ripping a first-pitch fastball to the opposite field.

"The pitch was 97 (miles per hour). He supplied a lot of that power," Jones said. "I wanted to catch something down in front of the plate. The previous at-bat, we had men in scoring position and I wasn't able to pick up any RBIs. That opportunity, I didn't let that fastball get by."

Verlander (8-5) had an 8-0 career record against the Orioles, his most wins against any team without a defeat. He gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings, including a two-run homer to J.J. Hardy, and saw his personal four-game winning streak snapped.

Zach Britton (1-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Monday, pitched 5 1/3 innings and held the Tigers to one run on five hits in his second major-league start this season.

"Not many people have success off Verlander in the first place," said Jones, who has 15 homers this season. "It was a big hit for the situation. J.J. got it started with his home run in the fourth. Whatever you get off that guy is a plus because he's a very stingy pitcher out there. We just kept battling but the big story was Britton. He went out there and gave us what we needed from him."

Jim Johnson followed three other relievers to record his 26th save, inducing Miguel Cabrera to hit into a double play with two on to end the game.

Jones stretched his hitting streak to seven games and Hardy had three of the Orioles' nine hits. Baltimore is 3-2 against the Central Division-leading Tigers and has 21 road victories, tying Boston for the most among American League teams.

"Our guys grinded a lot of at-bats," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We got his pitch count up early and didn't make it easy for him with some quick innings. J.J. and of course, Jones-y, had the big blows but we did some things to set those innings up."

Verlander threw only 60 of his 102 pitches for strikes, which led to his short stint. Jones' homer followed his fourth walk overall and third drawn by Nick Markakis.

"I feel like it was just a hair off with it, a lot of close pitches," Verlander said. "Then the one that really hurt me, fastball-wise, was the one to Jones. First pitch, he was up there jumping, trying to ambush me first-pitch fastball. And I gave it to him but it wasn't well-located. It was up and almost middle, outer half, just where he wanted it. A couple long balls were my undoing today."

Verlander saw his ERA rise to 3.72, good for most pitchers but not for someone considered by many to be the best pitcher in the majors.

"There's ups and downs and peaks and valleys," he said. "Tonight was just one of those nights where two long balls hurt me. Who knows what happens if I was able to execute those pitches a little bit better. I'm not saying I've regressed. It's just one of those games. This is major league baseball. You're not going to be perfect every time."

Matt Tuiasosopo's third homer and Austin Jackson's RBI single accounted for Detroit's runs. The Tigers had a baserunner in all but one inning and left 10 stranded.

Hardy hit his third career homer off Verlander in 30 official at-bats to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Hardy's shot cleared the left-field wall after Matt Wieters drew a one-out walk.

Jones' homer made it 5-0 before Detroit broke through against Zach Britton in the bottom half of the inning on Tuiasosopo's solo shot.

NOTES: Travis Ishikawa was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday and started as the Orioles' designated hitter. He went hitless in four at-bats. ... Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, who was placed on three-day paternity leave, went to his California home for the birth of his daughter, Leah. He will rejoin the team in Toronto on Thursday and start either Friday or Saturday. ... The teams complete their season series on Wednesday when the Orioles' Chris Tillman opposes Rick Porcello. ... Machado's fifth-inning double was his 33rd, tying Brian Roberts' club record for most doubles before the All-Star break. Roberts set the record in 2008. ... University of Michigan basketball coach John Beilein threw out the first pitch.
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