September 22: Baltimore 4, Detroit 1
Lefty Stewart’s shockingly good entrance to the Rhubarb continued in his sixth start, after which his ERA sits at 1.91. He wasn’t exactly dominant on his way to a one-run complete game, but he put on a clinic on how to bend without breaking. In the top of the fifth, the Tigers loaded the bases without an out. Stewart calmly popped out Miguel Cabrera and Hank Greenberg before getting Bobby Veach on a groundout to get out of the jam scott-free. Stewart stranded nine Tigers overall.
Manny Machado and Cal Ripken went back-to-back yackin’ in the sixth to knock out Tommy Bridges.
R H BB DET 001 000 000 - 1 11 1 BAL 020 002 00x - 4 10 3 HR: M. Cabrera (10), M. Machado (6), C. Ripken (11) starters IP R ER HR BB SO T. Bridges 5.2 4 4 2 3 3 L. Stewart 9.0 1 1 1 1 2 DET 72-82, BAL 83-71
September 23: Detroit 7, Baltimore 6
The pitching turned ugly for both teams in the next two games. Schoolboy Rowe had made a grand entrance to the league that paralleled Stewart’s, but Rowe got his first dose of trouble in this one and gave up four earned in four innings. Frank Robinson spanked Rowe for a triple and a homer.
But Erik Bedard also struggled for Baltimore. A fifth-inning rally featured doubles by Cabrera and Al Kaline to put Detroit up by a run. Baltimore took a one-run lead right back in the bottom of the fifth, but Detroit immediately answered with three straight singles by Charles Gehringer, Bill Freehan, and Travis Fryman to tie it up, and George Sisler made an error at first that allowed the winning run to score for Detroit.
R H BB DET 110 032 000 - 7 18 0 BAL 012 120 000 - 6 10 6 HR: F. Robinson (29) starters IP R ER HR BB SO S. Rowe 4.0 5 4 1 2 2 E. Bedard 4.2 5 5 0 0 3 DET 73-82, BAL 83-72
September 24: Detroit 11, Baltimore 9
It was another case of fast and furious lead exchanges in the rubber match. Detroit was in great shape through five innings with a 6-0 lead and Justin Verlander seemingly locked in. But the Orioles suddenly slammed Verlander for three homers in the sixth inning to get within two runs.
The Tigers responded with two runs in the top of the seventh to open up a four-run lead…and the Orioles responded with a five-run seventh to take a one-run lead. Ken Williams slammed his second dinger of the game, and six straight Tigers reached safely against John Hiller before he was finally yanked.
Baltimore’s Darren O’Day was on the hill to close out the game in the top of the ninth and had two outs with two on. Though Alan Trammell was 3-for-4 in the game, Sparky Anderson elected to send the hot-hitting Miguel Cabrera up as a pinch-hitter in Trammell’s spot. Cabrera rose to the occasion and slammed a three-run dong to give the Tigers a lead they actually held on to. Mike Henneman threw a quick perfect bottom of the ninth.
R H BB DET 200 220 203 - 11 17 3 BAL 000 004 500 - 9 11 2 HR: B. Veach (3), A. Kaline (13), M. Cabrera (11), E. Murray (18), K. Williams-2 (10), B.D. Jacobson (2) starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Verlander 5.2 4 4 3 1 4 J. Palmer 4.0 6 6 2 2 0 DET 74-82, BAL 83-73