By David Ginsburg
BALTIMORE (AP) — Justin Upton hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to back a strong pitching performance by Justin Verlander, and the surprising Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Friday night for their fourth straight victory.
Jim Adduci also homered for the Tigers, who have won six of seven despite unloading three stars before the non-waiver trade deadline. Detroit’s four-game winning streak matches a season high.
Verlander (7-7) struck out 10 and gave up two runs and six hits over seven innings. He’s 10-5 lifetime against Baltimore, including 8-1 at Camden Yards.
Tim Beckham went 4 for 4 with a home run and Manny Machado also went deep for the Orioles, who have lost two in a row to Detroit following a five-game winning streak.
Trailing 2-1 after being limited to three hits by Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, the Tigers rallied against Mychal Givens (7-1) in the eighth. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Upton, who sent the first pitch deep into the left-field seats. It was his third slam of the season and seventh of his career.
Givens had allowed only two runs in his previous 26 appearances, and Baltimore was 43-4 when leading after seven innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, Baltimore missed a chance to add to the lead when Caleb Joseph appeared to be hit by a pitch on the hand with runners at second and third with one out. But the umpires ruled that Joseph had swung and missed, a call that is not reviewable by replay. Craig Gentry followed with a fly out, setting the stage for Detroit’s comeback.
The Tigers are surging despite trading slugger J.D. Martinez, catcher Alex Avila and closer Justin Wilson in late July.
Bruce Rondon, who entered with an 11.20 ERA, worked the ninth for his first save.
Adduci put Detroit up 1-0 in the first inning with his second homer in the big leagues, the first coming with Texas in 2014 before he spent the next two years playing in Korea. Since launching his unusual professional career in 2004, Adduci has played in 1,290 games — but just 84 in the majors.
Beckham tied it by leading off the second inning with a drive to center, his second home run in two nights.
Machado put Baltimore in front with an opposite-field shot to right in the third.
HOT AND COLD
Beckham is 11 for 16 since being obtained from Tampa Bay on July 31. Teammate Chris Davis went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.
TILLMAN TO PEN?
Orioles starter Chris Tillman hasn’t won in 14 starts and owns an 8.10 ERA. Those kinds of numbers usually mean the pitcher is either hurting or primed for a demotion to the bullpen.
“Chris says he’s healthy and I believe him,” manager Buck Showalter said Friday.
So, is it time to remove Tillman from the rotation?
“I think we’re leaning more one way than the other, but we’re not there yet,” Showalter said.
Tigers: OF Alex Presley (oblique strain) is close to resuming baseball activities. He’s been on the DL since July 30.
Orioles: Bruised and sore after fouling a ball off his knee Thursday night, DH Trey Mancini was given the night off.
Tigers: Scrambling to find a replacement for Saturday’s scheduled starter, injured Michael Fulmer, manager Brad Ausmus was leaning toward right-hander Drew VerHagen but wanted to see the condition of his bullpen.
Orioles: Wade Miley (5-9. 5.60 ERA) is 0-0 lifetime versus Detroit, the only team in the majors he has no record against. In two career starts against the Tigers, he’s yielded nine runs in 11 innings.
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