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O's felled by Tigers' power surge

O's felled by Tigers' power surge

BALTIMORE -- Matt Wieters gave the Orioles fans what they'd been waiting for. He sent them into a frenzy Saturday night on each of his first two Major League hits and drew cheers again after making a nice defensive play to prevent a run from scoring -- and the applause from Oriole Park at Camden Yards faithful seemed to get louder with everything the rookie catcher did.

The cheers also grew when designated hitter Luke Scott continued his hot streak with a sixth homer in four games, and each time that pitcher Jeremy Guthrie got one of his career-high 10 strikeouts. But the Tigers quieted the crowd late in the game by scoring the final three runs to end the Orioles' five-game winning streak with a 6-3 victory before 34,567.

The Orioles had to battle a slew of Detroit flamethrowers, including starter Justin Verlander (6-2) and relievers Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney. Verlander constantly reached the mid- to upper-90s on his fastball throughout his six-inning stint. Zumaya threw at least 100 mph on 10 of his 12 pitches, and Rodney was throwing 99 when facing the game's final batter, as he wrapped up his ninth save.

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Still, the Orioles came back from an early 3-0 deficit. Nolan Reimold got an RBI single in the fifth -- driving in Wieters -- and Scott's two-run homer off Verlander made it 3-3 in the sixth. But Clete Thomas, who had only one homer coming into the game, hit his second solo shot of the night to start the seventh against Matt Albers (0-2), and the Tigers added two more later to stop the cheers.

"There's a lot of real positives in the ballgame tonight," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "We just came up short. They got outs, and we didn't. That's just the way the game goes."

Wieters was certainly the subject on most fans' minds. He went 0-for-4 in his debut on Friday but looked comfortable at the plate. The rookie catcher went 2-for-4 in his second game and made a nice play to chase down and tag a runner on an unsuccessful squeeze bunt.

He broke the 0-for-5 start to his career by blasting a triple to deep center field leading off the fifth. Wieters scored moments later on Reimold's single to cut the Tigers' lead to 3-1.

"It hit my glove," said Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson, who nearly made the catch. "He hit it well; it kept taking off. It was twilight, so it was kind of tough to see it, and when I got to the wall, I finally picked it up. It hit me and the wall at the same time."

The 6-foot-5 Wieters isn't a sprinter and smiled afterward when asked about his first Major League hit being a triple.

"I don't think I ever envisioned a triple as my first hit," he said. "I felt like I hit it well, but Granderson almost made a great play on it."

Wieters added a long ground-rule double to right-center and is now batting .250 (2-for-8) after two games.

Scott has been on a bigger roll since coming back off the disabled list earlier in the week. He's got six homers and 14 RBIs in four games. The designated hitter has homered in four straight games -- the first Oriole to do so since Miguel Tejada in 2005.

"That's probably some of the best stuff I've ever seen in my life," Scott said about the Tigers pitchers. "Actually, it is [the best]. The homer pitch I hit was a fastball down the middle, about the only mistake pitch I had all night."

Homers were just about the only mistakes for Guthrie, who gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings. He gave up solo shots to Granderson and Thomas to start the second and third innings, respectively, for an early 2-0 deficit.

"I felt very good," Guthrie said. "I felt like I had all the pitches working down in the zone for the most part and was able to locate for the most part."

Trembley said that was probably the best stuff Guthrie's had all season. But the bullpen didn't fare as well. Thomas greeted Albers with his homer in the seventh for a 4-3 lead. The Tigers pushed across another run in the eighth, when shortstop Cesar Izturis made an error on a slow roller near the mound.

Thomas then couldn't lay down a squeeze bunt, which let Wieters chase down Ryan Raburn on the third-base line. But Thomas redeemed himself with an RBI double to deep right off Jamie Walker to make it 6-3 and put the Tigers in command.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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