Orioles hand Tigers first loss

DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers suffered their first loss of the season Sunday with a 3-1 setback to the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park.

Justin Verlander allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over eight innings with three strikeouts for the Tigers. Orioles starter Chris Tillman limited the Tigers to five hits, one walk and one earned run over 8 1/3 innings, matching a career high.

Nelson Cruz hit an RBI double in the gap to right-center with two outs to score Adam Jones and tie the game in the sixth. Nick Markakis tripled to right and came home on a sacrifice fly to left by Jones in the eighth to break the tie. Al Alburquerque surrendered a solo home run against Matt Wieters in the ninth to put the Orioles ahead, 3-1.

Torii Hunter hit a home run for the third consecutive game. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on Hunter’s home run to left. It was the first hit yielded by Tillman. It’s the fourth time in his career that Hunter has hit a home run in three consecutive games and first since May 17-19, 2010. He homered in a career-high four consecutive games, Aug. 23-26, 2006.

The Tigers have hit a home run in each of the first five games of the season. It’s the fifth time in franchise history the club has started a season with a home run in each of the first five games and the first since 2009.

With three strikeouts Sunday, Verlander moved into fourth place on the club’s all-time strikeout list with 1,676. Verlander surpassed Tommy Bridges (1,674) for sole possession of fourth place by striking out Steve Lombardozzi in the fifth inning. The only pitchers in franchise history with more strikeouts than Verlander are Mickey Lolich (2,679), Jack Morris (1,980) and Hal Newhouser (1,770).

Orioles shortstop Ryan Flaherty began the season with an 0-for-17 streak before hitting a single off Al Alburquerque in the ninth inning. Flaherty also began the 2013 season with an 0-for-17 stretch.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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