Joey Ortiz became the first Orioles player to drive in three runs in his MLB debut since Don Baylor on Sept. 18, 1970.
“He got some big hits for us, and he could have another one if (Akil) Baddoo doesn't make a great play on his first at-bat,” said Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, whose team is 9-1 in its last 10 games. “Don Baylor is pretty good company for any hitter.”
Detroit, which fell to 1-12 against AL East teams, left 15 runners on base.
“We had 10 walks and eight hits, but we could never come up with the right hit at the right time,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We left runners on in every inning, so we had a lot of chances to separate ourselves.”
The bases were loaded with no one out in the second - Jonathan Schoop hit into a run-scoring double play, but scored Eric Haase. Then Zach McKinstry popped out. In the next inning, Haase made it 3-0 with a two-run single.
Baltimore got two runners into scoring position in the fifth on a single, a walk and a double steal. Ortiz then pulled the Orioles within 3-2 with a two-run single.
“I got behind 0-2, but I pride myself on being able to battle back in those spots,” said Ortiz, who was hitting .359 in 16 games for Triple-A Tidewater. “I just wanted a pitch I could hit up the middle.”
The Orioles nearly took the lead in the sixth, but Kerry Carpenter reached over the right-field fence to rob Ryan Mountcastle of a two-run homer. Carpenter then left the game with a shoulder injury; Hinch didn't have a postgame update on his status.
Nick Maton drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 4-2 in the sixth, but the Orioles hit for the cycle against Chasen Shreve (1-2) in the five-run seventh.
Adam Frazier singled, took third on Ryan McKenna's double and scored on Ortiz's sacrifice fly. Cedric Mullins followed with an RBI triple and Adley Rutschman made it 5-4 with Baltimore's second sacrifice fly of the inning. Mountcastle walked and Santander chased Shreve with a homer over the bullpens in left.
“The guys played a good game tonight and I let them down,” Shreve said.
Santander was 0-3 with three strikeouts before the homer.
“That was a massive homer for us,” Hyde said. “I think he got a lot of frustrations out on one swing.”
Bryan Baker (2-0) got the win with 1 1/2 scoreless innings of relief. Felix Bautista pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
Orioles: OF Austin Hays (hand) is day-to-day after being hit by a pitch in Tuesday's loss to Baltimore. He was available as a pinch runner or defensive replacement on Thursday, but can't swing the bat.
Tigers: SS Javier Báez (hand) was a late scratch from the Tigers lineup. Báez left Wednesday's loss in Milwaukee after being hit on the left hand.
Ortiz came to bat for the first time in the third and hit a line drive into the left-centerfield gap, but Tigers' left fielder Baddoo robbed him of extra bases with a diving catch.
“Welcome to the show,” Ortiz said after the game.
SO MANY CHANCES
The Tigers had nine baserunners in the final four innings - eight walks and a hit batter - but struck out seven times and didn't manage a hit.
“Baseball is really hard,” Hinch said. “This is a tough game.”
The teams are scheduled to play Friday in the second game of a four-game series, although the weather forecast calls for heavy rain. Grayson Rodriguez (0-0, 5.12) is scheduled to start for Baltimore against Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 2.32).
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