BALTIMORE — Coming off two straight high-scoring games decided by a single run, the Baltimore Orioles were delighted with a victory devoid of anxiety and stress.
Caleb Joseph homered and drove in three runs, Kevin Gausman allowed four hits over seven innings and the Orioles cruised past the Detroit Tigers 6-2 on Saturday night.
The game was decidedly different that the two that preceded it, a 9-8 Detroit win on Thursday night and an 8-7 duel Friday in which the Orioles rallied from a six-run deficit.
In this one, Baltimore built a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning against a decimated club that seemed incapable of fighting back.
Gausman (2-2) retired the first 11 batters without allowing a ball out of the infield. By the time Detroit got its first hit, the Orioles had already scored three runs.
“We just want to keep winning,” Gausman said. “Everybody is trying to do that right now. I think you see your best baseball at this point of the year.”
Gerardo Parra went 1 for 3 and scored a run in his Baltimore debut. Obtained Friday in a trade with Milwaukee, the outfielder became the 1,000th player to appear in a game for the Orioles.
Manny Machado hit his 23rd home run for the Orioles, who have won seven of eight. Baltimore is three games over .500 for the first time since July 6 and just one game behind Minnesota in the race for the final AL wild-card spot.
Gausman gave up two runs, struck out six and walked none in earning his first win in 13 appearances since April 7. The right-hander was working on a run of 13 straight shutout innings before Nick Castellanos homered with a man on in the fifth.
That was the lone salvo from the Tigers, who traded away three of their best players before Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline in the opening phase of a rebuilding effort.
“It’s like a roller coaster right now,” losing pitcher Anibal Sanchez said.
Sanchez (10-9) allowed six runs in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander has lost two straight since winning seven decisions in a row.
“They put two runs up in the first inning,” said Detroit’s Ian Kinsler. “You want to keep momentum on your side. Score early and add runs. That’s what they did. They played a really good game tonight.”
Kinsler had three hits, his 39th multihit game of the season. He’s 10 for 14 in the series that ends Sunday.
Baltimore jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. After Machado hit a leadoff single, Parra received a standing ovation from many in the sellout crowd of 45,968 before his first at-bat. He responded with a double to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.
One out later, Chris Davis drove in a run with a groundout and Matt Wieters hit an RBI single.
Joseph singled in a second-inning run and made it 5-0 in the fourth with his eighth homer following an infield single by J.J. Hardy, who also has a 15-game hitting streak.
Orioles: Chris Tillman (right ankle sprain) will likely miss his scheduled start Monday. … RHP Mike Wright was placed on the 15-day DL with a left calf strain, an injury that occurred Friday night.
Tigers: RF J.D. Martinez left in the middle of the third inning after fouling a ball off his left knee in the top of the second. X-rays were negative. … Manager Brad Ausmus said RHP Alfredo Simon (groin) will receive three extra days of rest before his next start. … 1B Miguel Cabrera (calf strain) is “a little ahead of schedule” in his quest to return, Ausmus said, but there is no timetable for the start of his rehabilitation assignment.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez (8-6, 3.73) is 5-10 lifetime against Detroit, more losses than against any other team.
Tigers: Daniel Norris (1-1, 3.86 ERA) makes his Tigers debut Sunday after coming from Toronto in a trade Thursday for 2012 Cy Young winner David Price.
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