Tigers slugger Prince Fielder recorded his 24th career two-homer game, driving in four runs with a pair of two-run homers, including a towering two-run blast off left-handed reliever J.C. Romero in the eighth inning, sending Baltimore to a 5-3 loss before an announced crowd of 41,620.
The loss, the Orioles’ second straight, put the teams together in the American League wild-card race with identical 64-55 records.
Both of Fielder’s homers came after Baltimore Manager Buck Showalter and first baseman Mark Reynolds were both ejected in the fifth inning after the umpiring crew overturned a close call at first base.
Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta hit a sharp ball down the third base line, which was backhanded by Manny Machado, who made a strong throw to first with half his body in foul ground. Reynolds lunged to catch the throw and appeared to keep his right toe on the bag. First base umpire Jeff Kellogg initially called Peralta out, but after Peralta and Tigers Manager Jim Leyland argued that Reynolds’s foot came off the bag, Kellogg and home-plate umpire Tim Timmons conferred and overturned the call.
Reynolds boiled over, spiking his glove into the infield dirt while yelling a profanity. He was immediately ejected by second base umpire Vic Carapazza. Showalter ran out to argue, while pushing Reynolds and pitcher Tommy Hunter out of the way. As the entire umpiring crew engaged Showalter, he began flailing his arms and was eventually ejected by third base ump Marty Foster.
Machado, who showed nice range by simply getting to Peralta’s ball, was issued a throwing error. The Orioles held a 3-1 lead at the time, a lead given to them by a mammoth two-run shot by Matt Wieters in the top of the fifth off Justin Verlander.
With the game tied at 3 in the eighth, Darren O’Day walked Miguel Cabrera, who had hit a solo homer in the first off Hunter. Bench coach John Russell, serving as manager in Showalter’s absence, brought in Romero in to face the left-handed hitting Fielder.
After getting three straight breaking balls, Fielder tattooed a 90-mph fastball high into the Detroit night inside the right-field foul pole to give the Tigers the game-winning runs.
Hunter allowed two homers — including a two-run blast by Fielder that went 462 feet and hit the right-center field concourse to tie the score at 3 in the sixth.
The Orioles caught Verlander on an off day — he issued four walks — but couldn’t capitalize, stranding four runners in scoring position against the reigning Cy Young Award winner and MVP. Baltimore lost an opportunity to break through in the second after going up 1-0 off Nick Markakis’s RBI double, leaving the bases loaded when Chris Davis struck out on four pitches to end the inning.
— Baltimore Sun