Johnny Damon hit his second walk-off homer of the season for the Tigers last night as Detroit rallied in dramatic fashion to beat Baltimore 7-to-5 in eleven-innings at Comerica Park. Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 5-all and Damon’s two run shot in the 11th gave Detroit its 14th win in its last 16 home games.
Damon also singled in the game for his 2,500th career hit. Brandon Inge went 2-for-5 with an RBI triple for the Tigers, who overcame a 4-1 deficit in the eighth for the victory. Ryan Perry pitched one scoreless inning to get the win. Detroit starter Armando Galarraga pitched out of trouble for most of the night until the Orioles scored three runs in the seventh to take a 3-to-1 lead. Baltimore lost despite out-hitting Detroit 17-to-13.
The win allowed Detroit to stay in first place in the American League Central by a half game over the Twins, who nipped Toronto 7-to-6.
The White Sox stayed just one game back by beating the Angels 4-to-1. Cabrera, who fell a double shy of the cycle and extended his hitting streak to 15 games, has committed to take part in Monday night’s All-Star game home run derby at Anaheim.
Max Scherzer will start tonight for the Tigers as they go for the 3-game sweep over the Orioles. After last night’s game, Detroit optioned Galarraga to Triple-A Toledo in a planned move tied to the upcoming All-Star break. It gives him a chance to pitch on the 15th rather than be out of action until the 20th when he would go to the mound again as the Tiger’s fifth starter. To take Galarraga’s spot on the roster, Detroit purchased the contract of reliever Robbie Weinhardt from the Mudhens.