BALTIMORE — Daniel Norris took a three-hitter into the eighth inning in his Detroit debut, J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer and the Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 on Sunday to earn a split of the four-game series.
Norris (2-1) was obtained by the Tigers on Thursday in the deal that sent former Cy Young Award winner David Price to Toronto. Making his seventh career start, the 22-year-old Norris provided a glimpse of his potential against a contender that won seven of its previous eight games.
Norris allowed one run, four hits and a walk in 7 1-3 innings — the longest outing of his career. The left-hander hadn’t started in the majors since April 30, and was 3-10 with a 4.27 ERA for Triple-A Buffalo this season.
On this day, however, Norris was dominant. Assuming Price’s spot in the rotation, the rookie proved to be a suitable replacement for the left-handed ace. The only glaring flaw in his performance came in the fourth inning, when Chris Davis homered on a 2-1 pitch.
That was pretty much the extent of the Baltimore offense. After scoring 20 runs in the first three games of the series, the Orioles went quietly against a team that apparently turned the page to next year by dealing Price, closer Joakim Soria and slugger Yeonis Cespedes before Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Despite the loss, Baltimore went 5-2 on a homestand that began with a sweep of the Atlanta Braves.
Ubaldo Jimenez (8-7) gave up six runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings. He’s 1-4 in his last six starts and has yielded at least six runs in three of his last four appearances.
Martinez homered on a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the first after Jose Iglesias singled and Ian Kinsler walked. He has 29 home runs this season, six more than his previous career high.
Davis got Baltimore to 3-1 in the fourth with his 26th home run, the fourth during the homestand.
Jimenez retired 12 straight batters following Martinez’s home run. The streak ended with a fifth-inning double by Rajai Davis, and Anthony Gose followed with an RBI single. Iglesias hit a triple, and Kinsler chased Jimenez with a run-scoring single for a 6-1 lead.
Kinsler went 2 for 3 with a walk, his 40th multihit game of the season and fourth of the series. He went 12 for 17 in the four games.
Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman probably will have his start Monday pushed back to Friday because of a right ankle sprain. The Orioles are prepared to recall RHP Tyler Wilson for Monday’s start.
Tigers: Martinez started despite leaving in the third inning Saturday after fouling a ball off the inside of his left knee. “It’s better today than it was yesterday,” he said Sunday morning.
Orioles: Baltimore travels to the West Coast for the only time this season, beginning with a three-game series in Oakland on Monday night. Trips to Anaheim and Seattle follow.
Tigers: Detroit gets Monday off before opening a three-game series at home against the AL Central-leading Kansas City Royals.
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