By NOAH TRISTER/AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) – Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run homer – part of Baltimore’s six-run fourth inning against Justin Verlander – and the Orioles routed the Detroit Tigers 9-3 on Sunday.READ MORE: Science of Weather: Sea Life Michigan Turtles
Adam Jones also homered for the Orioles, and J.J. Hardy added a two-run double. Verlander (0-3) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, another ugly start for a Detroit rotation that has suddenly become a weak link.
Both teams finished with 14 hits.
Miguel Gonzalez (8-6) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings.
The Tigers (45-46) fell below .500 for the first time since they were 1-2 early in the 2013 season.
Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected in the third inning after slamming his bat down on a flyball, and Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos left with a bruised cheek after being hit by Adam Jones’ hard grounder.
Verlander allowed a solo homer by Jones in the first, but that was the only Baltimore baserunner in the first three innings. With the score tied at 1 in the fourth, the Orioles loaded the bases with nobody out. Matt Wieters flied out to shallow left, and Hardy nearly struck out – but umpires ruled he checked his swing on a two-strike pitch.
The Baltimore shortstop then lined a two-run double to right.
Chris Davis was thrown out at home on Hardy’s double, but Verlander didn’t retire another hitter. Schoop’s homer made it 6-1, and Manny Machado added an RBI single.READ MORE: Motown Museum Set To Reopen This Weekend With Expansion Project Near Completion
The Tigers have lost all six of Verlander’s starts this season after he missed the first two months with arm trouble. This is the first time Detroit has been below .500 after the All-Star break since the Tigers were 80-81 near the end of the 2010 season. Since then, Detroit has won four straight AL Central titles – a streak that looks less likely to continue with every lackluster performance like this.
The Orioles remained four games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
Jose Iglesias had four hits and scored all three Detroit runs. Jones had three hits for Baltimore.
Kinsler lifted a flyball to center field in the third inning with two on, and as he jogged toward first, he slammed his bat down, causing part of it to break off. Then he threw the rest of the bat down, and plate umpire Manny Gonzalez ejected him. Kinsler had appeared annoyed with a called strike on the previous pitch, walking several steps away from the plate.
Orioles: This outing was a positive step for Gonzalez, who spent some time on the DL in June with a groin strain. He allowed at least four runs in three of his first four starts after coming back.
Tigers: After Kinsler’s ejection, Castellanos entered to play third base, with Andrew Romine moving from third to second. In the fifth, Jones hit a grounder that hopped up and caught Castellanos on the left cheek. He was able to deflect the ball a bit with his bare hand, softening the blow, and X-rays were negative.
Orioles: Have Monday off before starting a three-game series in New York against the Yankees. Wei-Yin Chen (4-5) starts Tuesday night against New York’s Nathan Eovaldi (9-2).MORE NEWS: Senate GOP Facing Criticism Following Insulin Cap Vote
Tigers: Host Seattle for four games, beginning Monday night when Alfredo Simon (8-6) faces Seattle’s J.A. Happ (4-5).
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