In the first meeting in 50 years of major league teams both 50 or more games under .500, DJ Stewart and Trey Mancini homered to lead the Baltimore Orioles over the Detroit Tigers 6-2 on Friday night.
This was just the fourth time teams 50 or more games under .500 met, according to STATS, the first since Montreal played at San Diego on Aug. 29, 1969. The others were between Kansas City and Washington on Oct. 7, 1886, and between St. Louis and Louisville on Sept. 13, 1886, STATS said.
In a match impacting primarily which team will pick first in next June’s amateur draft, Detroit dropped to a big league-worst 43-103, its most losses since setting a team mark at 43-119 in 2003.
Baltimore, last in the AL East at 48-99, avoided for night ensuring its second straight 100-loss season after going 47-115 last year.
Baltimore and Detroit set a record for combined losses entering an AL series at 201.
Aaron Brooks (5-8) allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to win for the third win time in four decisions. Shawn Armstrong, Paul Fry, Hunter Harvey and Mychal Givens combined for one-hit relief to drop the Orioles’ bullpen ERA to 2.73 since Aug. 20.
Jordan Zimmermann (1-11) dropped to 0-2 in seven starts since beating the Los Angeles Angels on July 29. He allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings
Mancini hit an RBI single in the first.
After throwing out Jordy Mercer at home plate from second base to end the fourth, Stevie Wilkerson doubled leading off the fifth to end a streak of eight straight outs by Zimmermann. Stewart homered off the right- field foul pole for a 3-0 lead and, three batters later, Chance Sisco scored on Mason Williams’ groundout.
Mancini hit a two-run homer in the seventh against José Cisnero.
Mercer and Willi Castro had RBI singles in the sixth.
Detroit entered with a big league-leading 1,459 strikeouts but Brooks did not fan any of his 16 batters. Baltimore’s bullpen struck out six.
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At the park for the annual team photo, Tigers controlling owner Christopher Ilitch said he was satisfied with the organization’s progress this season.
“I believe we’re on the path,” Ilitch said. “How much longer is it going to take? How much further do we have to progress? I can’t answer that.”
Detroit dropped to 19-53 at Comerica Park. The Tigers are trying to avoid breaking the 1939 St. Louis Browns’ record of 59 home losses and Detroit’s franchise record of 58 in 2003.
The Michigan baseball team was honored before the game and Jimmy Kerr, a 33rd round draft pick and third baseman in the Tigers farm system, threw out a wild ceremonial first pitch that nearly hit his teammates behind home plate. Michigan lost to Vanderbilt in the College World Series championship.
Orioles RHP Gabriel Ynoa (1-8, 5.79 ERA) goes into Saturday’s outing 0-7 with a 6.48 ERA in 10 starts this year. Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (3-12, 4.72) has one win in his last 11 decisions.
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