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Tigers 7, Orioles 5

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- Justin Verlander remained unbeaten at Camden Yards and battery mate Bryan Holaday was part of two early rallies as the Detroit Tigers, who led 6-0 in the fifth, held on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Wednesday to sweep the three-game series.

A Virginia native, Verlander (5-2) is now 7-0 lifetime at Baltimore even though he gave up five runs in six innings. The Tigers have won eight road games in a row and finish the year 5-1 against Baltimore, which has lost four straight. Both teams began the day first in their division.

While Verlander made his 275th career start, Baltimore's Kevin Gausman -- just called up from Triple-A Norfolk -- made his first big league appearance of the season and sixth career start. He gave up five runs in four innings before giving way to reliever Miguel Gonzalez, who was bumped to the bullpen to open a spot for Gausman (0-1).

The Tigers took a 6-0 lead before the Orioles scored five times in the fifth to make it 6-5. Detroit got some insurance in the sixth with a solo homer by left fielder Rajai Davis to take 7-5 lead. Baltimore left the bases loaded in the eighth against Joba Chamberlain and closer Joe Nathan shut the door in the ninth for his 10th save, retiring designated hitter Nelson Cruz on a grounder for the final out with a runner on base.

Detroit staked Verlander to a 6-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI single by third baseman Don Kelly.

The Tigers had scored three runs in the fourth to make it 5-0 as catcher Holaday (two hits) had an RBI single, shortstop Danny Worth (two hits) drove in a run with a bunt single and Davis hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Holaday.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-out, bases loaded single by first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who stroked a 96-mile-per-hour low inside fastball from Gausman to left to score Holaday and Worth.

The Orioles got on the board in the fifth with five runs, the first two coming on RBI singles by center fielder Adam Jones and first baseman Chris Davis to make it 6-2. Cruz then launched a 3-run homer to left off Verlander to make it 6-5.

Home plate umpire John Tumpane had warned both benches after Verlander threw a pitch behind Cruz with one out in the fourth. Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, who was not in the starting lineup, exchanged words with Baltimore pitcher Bud Norris after he was hit by a pitch in Monday's game.

NOTES: 1B Miguel Cabrera now has 53 RBIs in 51 career games against the Orioles. ... Detroit rookie manager Brad Ausmus said being a former catcher is a plus. "It gives you a pretty good feel for what the players are thinking," said Ausmus, whose team had the best record in the majors prior to Wednesday's games. ... Baltimore begins a series Thursday at Kansas City and the scheduled starters are LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-2, 3.95) of the Orioles against Kansas City RHP Yordano Ventura (2-2, 2.34). ... The Tigers begin a series Friday at Boston and RHP Max Scherzer (5-1, 2.04) is slated to go for Detroit against LHP Jon Lester (4-4, 2.75) of the Red Sox. ... Detroit RHP Joe Nathan earned his 350th career save on Tuesday, then got No. 351 on Wednesday.

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