DETROIT — After another night of missed chances — popups with men on base and hard-hit balls that became outs — Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter was philosophical.
“We were trying to create more opportunities, and we did that tonight,” he said.
The Orioles had their share of baserunners, but they went 1 for 14 with men in scoring position in Friday night’s 7-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The Orioles have lost six of seven and are 2 for 50 with runners in scoring position in that span.
Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez (9-7) worked in and out of trouble for six innings in the first meeting between these teams since Baltimore swept the Tigers in last year’s AL Division Series.
With Detroit up 3-1 in the third, J.D. Martinez of the Tigers reached up to catch Chris Davis’ drive when it looked like the ball might clear the wall in right.
“It was up in the air for a while. It gave me time to get to the wall and just time it up right,” Martinez said. “You don’t see me do that too many times. Really not my game, but hey, I’ll take it.”
In the fifth, he added a solo homer, his 26th of the year, moving momentarily into a tie for the AL lead before Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels hit his 27th later in the night.
Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5) allowed seven runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings. He struck out five.
Detroit and Baltimore came into this game with identical 44-44 records — and there has even been talk that the Tigers might be better off trading some of their pending free agents and focusing on 2016. Both teams are still in the postseason race, though, and Sanchez won his sixth straight decision. He allowed two runs and eight hits.
Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Anthony Gose’s RBI double in the second made it 3-1. The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, but they managed only one run on an RBI fielder’s choice by Chris Parmelee.
Jimmy Paredes lined out to right to end the Baltimore fourth — J.D. Martinez came in to make the catch, only to have the ball nearly sail over his head.
Jose Iglesias hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-2. It was the shortstop’s second of the year and sixth of his career.
CLOSING IT OUT
Joakim Soria, who allowed four runs without retiring a batter in his previous appearance July 10, pitched the ninth in a non-save situation. Two of the first three hitters reached base against him, but he struck out Davis and retired Matt Weiters on a groundout to end a frustrating game for the Orioles.
“You have a guy bring a homer back into the park, and then Jimmy hits a rocket right at the same guy with the bases loaded,” Showalter said. “Plus we get into the ninth, and we get called out on a ball four inches off the plate that should have loaded the bases with one out.”
Jimenez had allowed only one run over his previous three starts, but the seven he allowed to Detroit were easily his most all season.
“I was having trouble gripping my breaking balls all night,” he said. “I didn’t have my slider at all, and the splitter was good at times and then it wasn’t doing anything at other times.”
Orioles: Showalter says RHP Jason Garcia (right shoulder tendinitis) has been throwing with good velocity and feels good physically. Garcia began a rehab assignment earlier this month.
Tigers: Manager Brad Ausmus said there’s nothing new to report on slugger Miguel Cabrera, who has been recovering from a left calf strain. Cabrera is expected back next month.
Detroit LHP David Price (9-2) faces Baltimore RHP Chris Tillman (6-7) on Saturday night. The Tigers are 15-3 this year when Price pitches.