BALTIMORE (AP) — Detroit’s Justin Verlander wasn’t overly concerned with his less-than-stellar outing against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.
Instead, he focused on the final result: another Tigers’ victory.
Rajai Davis homered, and Detroit overcame a rare shaky performance by Verlander to complete a three-game sweep of the Orioles with a 7-5 victory.
The Tigers have won 12 of their last 15 games, including eight in a row on the road.
Baltimore has lost four straight.
Verlander (5-2) allowed a season-high five runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks in six innings.
He still improved to 7-0 in eight outings at Camden Yards. But it was the first time in 15 games a Detroit starter allowed more than three runs.
“Winning as a team is all that matters,” Verlander said. “Obviously, today was a great team effort. Our boys put up a bunch of runs.”
Davis hit his third home run of the season and had two RBIs.
Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz had two hits, including his 11th home run, a three-run shot in the fifth inning that pulled Baltimore to within 6-5.
Adam Jones went 3 for 5 with an RBI and extended his hitting streak to nine games.
“We’re not going to focus on what happened in bad situations,” Cruz said. “We’re going to focus on whatever we did good on a daily basis, and that can get you going through the season.”
Staked to a 6-0 lead, Verlander was cruising until the fifth, when he allowed five runs with two outs. He gave up consecutive RBI singles to Jones and Chris Davis before Cruz’s three-run homer to left cut the deficit to 6-5.
“In the American League, no lead seems to be safe,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
Davis gave Detroit some breathing room with his solo shot in the sixth.
Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save. He hasn’t allowed a run in six straight appearances.
Kevin Gausman (0-1) was making his first start for the Orioles since June 13, 2013, and lasted just four innings. He allowed five runs on six hits with two strikeouts, two walks and a wild pitch.
“Obviously, I wasn’t too thrilled with it,” Gausman said. “I thought I did some good things early on, keeping down in the count. As the game progressed, my fastball started going up in the zone.”
Detroit opened a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-out, two-RBI single by Miguel Cabrera. He is batting .391 with 53 RBIs in 51 career games against Baltimore.
The Tigers extended the lead to 5-0 in the fourth with some aggressive base running and timely hitting. After a double steal, Bryan Holiday had an RBI single and Danny Worth followed with a drag bunt up the first base line for another run. Davis then hit a long sacrifice fly to center
Verlander threw behind Cruz in the fourth, prompting home plate umpire John Tumpane to issue a warning to both benches. On Monday, Orioles starter Bud Norris plunked Torii Hunter in the rib cage after allowing a go-ahead, two-run homer to Ian Kinsler in the eighth, which caused both dugouts to empty, though no punches were thrown.
Don Kelly’s RBI single off Miguel Gonzalez in the fifth increased the lead to 6-0
NOTES: Baltimore RHP Chris Tillman has been bothered by a sore groin but expects to make his scheduled start Friday after a bullpen session. … Manager Buck Showalter will miss Saturday’s game in Kansas City to attend his daughter’s graduation at SMU. Bench coach John Russell will fill in. … Orioles RHP prospect Parker Bridwell came two outs shy of a no-hitter Tuesday for Single-A Frederick. Bridwell struck out eight batters and did not allow a base runner until a walk in the sixth inning of the Keys’ 7-0 win over Potomac. … Tigers RHP Luke Putkonen (right elbow inflammation) pitched two innings Tuesday in a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo. He allowed four runs on five hits and will likely make one more rehab outing. … RHP Anibal Sanchez (right middle finger laceration) is scheduled to come off the disabled list and start Sunday night’s game at Boston. … RHP Rick Porcello was scheduled to pitch a bullpen session Wednesday after experiencing tightness in his side in Monday’s 4-1 win over the Orioles.