Baltimore at Detroit

Hunter drives in five as Tigers hold off O's to go 4-0 wire reports

DETROIT -- Torii Hunter and the Detroit Tigers are baseball's only undefeated team.

The only team that can still make goofy statements like this.

''Hopefully we go 162-0,'' the always-upbeat Hunter said. ''It would be awesome.''

Hunter homered and drove in five runs, and the Tigers withstood a five-run ninth inning by Baltimore to beat the Orioles 7-6 on Saturday. Joe Nathan got the final two outs for his first save with Detroit, retiring Chris Davis on a flyout with two on to end it.

Hunter hit a three-run double in the third, then added a two-run drive in the fifth for his second homer of the year. The Tigers have 17 runs and 30 hits in their past two games.

''I like this ballclub,'' Hunter said. ''You talk about a very athletic team, doesn't strike out much at all, and will make good contact. We've got some guys that have professional at-bats.''

Rick Porcello (1-0) allowed a run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings in his first start of the season, but the Tigers (4-0) had to hold on when the Orioles nearly pulled off a remarkable comeback.

Detroit led 7-1 entering the ninth, but Phil Coke and Al Alburquerque couldn't close out the Orioles. Nathan came on with two on, one out and the score 7-3.

Steve Lombardozzi singled to deep right to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Steve Clevenger's double made it 7-5. David Lough brought home another run with a grounder to shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who threw wide of first for an error.

With men on first and second, Nathan struck out Nelson Cruz and got Davis to hit a lazy fly to left.

''The momentum's obviously swinging their way,'' said Nathan, who signed with the Tigers in the offseason as a free agent. ''Sometimes the hardest thing to do in those situations is stop the bleeding.''

Bud Norris (0-1) allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings, and the Orioles lost their fourth straight.

Detroit's Brad Ausmus became the first manager in more than a decade to begin his career with four straight wins, according to STATS. Clint Hurdle of Colorado and Jerry Royster of Milwaukee both did it in 2002.

Ausmus took over for Jim Leyland after last season.

The 25-year-old Porcello already has five full seasons under his belt. If he blossoms into a true standout, Detroit's already-excellent rotation will look even tougher.

Porcello struck out only three with two walks, but he didn't allow a hit after the second inning. Only one of the final 17 batters he faced reached base.

Davis opened the scoring in the first with an RBI single for Baltimore, but he was thrown out trying to take second. The Tigers took the lead in the third when Hunter's line drive to the corner in left field cleared the bases. His homer in the fifth made it 5-1.

In the sixth, Don Kelly hit an RBI triple and scored on Rajai Davis' sacrifice fly.

Adam Jones hit an RBI triple off Coke in the ninth for the Orioles, and he scored on Nick Markakis' groundout to make it 7-3.

''I knew we were going to make a run, but it was a little too late,'' Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. ''We've got the first part of games down, and we're doing well at the ends of games, but we've got to figure out how to hold our own in the middle. The starters have to get us deeper into games.''

The Tigers have hit six homers in their first four games, an encouraging sign after they traded cleanup hitter Prince Fielder in the offseason. Kelly had three hits Saturday, while Hunter, Davis, Ian Kinsler and Austin Jackson added two apiece.

The bottom three hitters for Detroit -- Gonzalez, Kelly and Davis -- combined to go 6 for 10 with two RBIs and five runs scored.


The temperature at game time was 41 degrees. ... Orioles SS J.J. Hardy prevented further damage in the third with a diving stop on Victor Martinez's grounder. ... Detroit's Justin Verlander (0-0) will face Baltimore's Chris Tillman (0-0) on Sunday.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Torii Hunter homers and doubles to lead the offense while Joe Nathan gets the final two outs for baseball's lone unbeaten team. (USATSI)
Torii Hunter homers and doubles to lead the offense while Joe Nathan gets the final two outs for baseball's lone unbeaten team. (USATSI)

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Baltimore Orioles
David Lough, LF4111100 .182
Nelson Cruz, RF5000014 .176
Chris Davis, 1B5121012 .278
Adam Jones, CF4111000 .235
Nick Markakis, DH3011100 .190
J.J. Hardy, SS3120111 .333
Matt Wieters, C4110002 .400
Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B4110001 .364
Jonathan Schoop, 3B3000020 .143
   a-Steve Clevenger, PH1012000 .400
   Ryan Flaherty, PR0000000 .000
Bud Norris, P0000000 .000
   Brian Matusz, P0000000 .000
   Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   Darren O'Day, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for Schoop in the 9th
2B - Steve Clevenger (1, Nathan)
3B - David Lough (1, Reed), Adam Jones (1, Coke)
RBI - David Lough (1), Chris Davis (3), Adam Jones (1), Nick Markakis (1), Steve Clevenger 2 (3)
SB - David Lough (2, 2nd base off Porcello/Avila)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Stephen Lombardo-Hardy-Davis
Baltimore Orioles
Bud Norris (L,0-1) 5955021 9.00
Brian Matusz 1222210 10.80
Evan Meek 1000010 0.00
Darren O'Day 1200010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 103-69, Brian Matusz 29-16, Evan Meek 14-9, Darren O'Day 21-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 6-6, Brian Matusz 1-1, Evan Meek 1-1
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 23, Brian Matusz 7, Evan Meek 3, Darren O'Day 5
Detroit Tigers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5120013 .368
Torii Hunter, RF4125102 .313
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4010023 .375
Victor Martinez, DH4000002 .176
Austin Jackson, CF4020001 .438
Alex Avila, C4000021 .083
Alex Gonzalez, SS3210101 .364
Don Kelly, 3B4231001 .750
Rajai Davis, LF3121002 .333
Rick Porcello, P0000000 .000
   Evan Reed, P0000000 .000
   Phil Coke, P0000000 .000
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
2B - Torii Hunter (1, Norris), Miguel Cabrera (2, Norris)
3B - Don Kelly (1, Matusz)
HR - Torii Hunter (2, Norris)
SF - Rajai Davis (1)
RBI - Torii Hunter 5 (6), Don Kelly (1), Rajai Davis (4)
SB - Austin Jackson (1, 2nd base off Norris/Wieters), Rajai Davis (1, 2nd base off Norris/Wieters)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Rajai Davis 1
DP - A. Gonzalez-Kinsler-Cabrera
E - Alex Gonzalez (2, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
Rick Porcello (W,1-0) 6.2311230 1.35
Evan Reed 1.1200010 0.00
Phil Coke 0.1233100 81.00
Al Alburquerque 0111000 4.50
Joe Nathan (S,1) 0.2211010 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Rick Porcello 94-60, Evan Reed 22-16, Phil Coke 14-7, Al Alburquerque 5-4, Joe Nathan 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick Porcello 11-4, Phil Coke 1-0, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Rick Porcello 23, Evan Reed 6, Phil Coke 4, Al Alburquerque 1, Joe Nathan 5
Game Information
Attendance - 32041
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 41
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Mark Ripperger