BALTIMORE -- Chris Dickerson hadn't started in eight days because of wrist problems. But when he returned to the lineup on Friday night, he certainly made his presence felt.
Dickerson hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Baltimore Orioles a wild 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers before a sellout crowd of 46,249 at Camden Yards.
The designated hitter came up with two on and two outs in the ninth and Detroit closer Jose Valverde (0-1) clinging to a 5-4 lead. Dickerson then sent a 2-1 fastball over the wall in right-center field, delighting the crowd with the first walk-off hit of his career.
"I knew right away; it was awesome," Dickerson said. "That's the type of feeling you just want to bottle up and take home forever. Just an incredible feeling, an incredible moment."
Detroit led 5-3 when Valverde came on in the ninth. Starter Max Scherzer gave up three runs in the first three innings and then retired the final 16 Orioles he faced before manager Jim Leyland pulled him after eight.
Nick Markakis led off the ninth with a homer that seemed to awaken the crowd. Adam Jones reached on an infield single to deep short. Chris Davis then worked the count full before lining a single to right-center field. Avisail Garcia raced over from right to cut it off and force Jones to stop at third.
Valverde got Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy on popups before Dickerson homered to cap the four-run bottom of the ninth and give the Orioles (31-24) their third straight win
"I miss a couple of pitches," Valverde said. "They have some good hitters. Tomorrow is going to be a new day. I had a tough day. There's nothing I can do. You just have to get ready for tomorrow. I feel bad for Max because he threw a good game."
Darren O'Day (3-0) picked up the win for the Orioles, who've now gotten four walk-off wins this season.
"That says a lot about our ballclub, up and down the lineup," Markakis said. "Anybody can hurt you on any given count. I think that's a positive thing we've got going for us right now."
Detroit (29-24) now has dropped four in a row.
The Tigers started quickly against Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez. Andy Dirks singled with one out in the top of the first and scored when Miguel Cabrera belted a two-run homer to deep left for a 2-0 lead.
Baltimore cut the lead in half in the second. Jones led off with a single and went to third when Davis singled. Wieters followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in Jones.
The Orioles took the lead in the third when Jones hit a two-run homer to deep center. Markakis had just drawn a two-out walk before Jones' blast, which put Baltimore up 3-2.
The Tigers tied it in the fourth on a Garcia RBI single. His two-out grounder up the middle scored Jhonny Peralta, who had reached on a forceout.
Detroit opened a 4-3 lead in the fifth when Dirks scored on a Victor Martinez forceout. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out and the Orioles tried to turn a double play when Martinez bounced to second, but he just beat shortstop J.J. Hardy's throw to first.
Garcia made it 5-3 with a solo homer in the sixth, and Gonzalez came out after that. But the Baltimore bullpen stepped up once more.
Troy Patton, Steve Johnson, Brian Matusz and O'Day combined to shut out Detroit in the final three innings, allowing one hit and retiring the final seven batters.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles were hoping they could keep things close until Scherzer left.
"One of the keys was our bullpen," Showalter said. "We felt like if we could keep it there ... we were hoping he wouldn't pitch forever."
Scherzer struck out 10 in his strong eight-inning effort while trying to improve to 8-0. He didn't allow a Baltimore base runner after the third, but the Orioles were able to rally when the right-hander left.
"We obviously let one get away," Leyland said. "Scherzer got us where we wanted to be, and then we just didn't close it out."
NOTES: Davis entered the game with 19 homers through May 30, the second-highest total by an Orioles player in history at this point in the season. According to STATS, Brady Anderson holds the record with 20 in 1996, the year he hit 50 overall. ...Jones' home run was his 11th this season. The Orioles now have three players -- Davis and Hardy are the others -- who have at least 10 homers, one of just four teams in the majors so far. ... Scherzer dodged a bullet in the second inning when a Jones line drive hit him in the lower back before deflecting into center field for a single. The right-hander seemed fine afterward. ... Cabrera's first-inning homer was his 12th of the month, the most for a Tiger since Willie Horton in 1968.