DETROIT — Tigers starter Michael Pineda was out early after a line drive broke a finger on his pitching hand and the Detroit bullpen dominated the rest of the way, teaming on a four-hit sure to beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 on Saturday.
Pineda retired all four batters he faced but had to leave after understudy Ramon Urias broke his right-hand middle finger in the second inning.
“We don’t know yet if he will need surgery, but he’s going to be out for a while,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “We didn’t have everyone available in the bullpen today, but everyone lined up and did what we needed them to.”
Wily Peralta replaced him, the game being delayed to give him time to warm up.
“I’ve never had to warm up on the mound in my career, and I haven’t really had a chance to figure out what works,” he said. “I had some good fastballs at the end, so I started throwing them and worked from there.”
Peralta (1-0) fielded eight batters and four more relievers finished. Gregory Soto pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Eric Haase and Willi Castro homered for the Tigers, who earned their first series win at home this season. Detroit’s defense also contributed, making four double plays.
“It’s good to hit some balls, because that’s something we didn’t do a lot at first,” Hinch said. “I think one difference is that it’s been 80 (degrees) the last two days, not 30 like in April.”
Bruce Zimmermann (2-2) allowed two earned runs in over six innings.
“Bruce threw the ball extremely well – we just didn’t score,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We struggled with what ended up being a bullpen game. Our starters are doing an incredible job, but we need to score even more points.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second when left fielder Ryan McKenna misplayed Jonathan Schoop’s starting brace, moving him up to third. Castro followed with a sacrifice fly.
Haase made it 2-0 with a first homer in the fifth and Castro ended Zimmermann’s day with a homer on his first pitch in the seventh.
Baltimore’s first hit was a single by Tyler Nevin in the fifth, and the Orioles failed to get a runner in the running position until Urias doubled Joe Jimenez in the seventh.
“It was really frustrating,” Orioles star Trey Mancini said. “We’ve been through a lot of that in the first two weeks of the season, and now in the last two days we can’t find any holes. They had double plays in big situations, which we better avoid.
Eduardo Rodriguez and Tarik Skubal are now the only healthy pitchers in Detroit’s first-choice starting rotation.
“It’s really tough to have four of our starters injured because we’re so much better when we know all of our guys will be there every five days,” Peralta said after Pineda joined Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tyler. Alexander on the sidelines. “We’re all going to have to take on bigger roles.”
tigers: Mize (elbow) was removed from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo after a departure and will return to Detroit’s spring training facility in Florida for further evaluation. Manning (shoulder) is scheduled for another start to rehab in Toledo. … OF Austin Meadows (Inside Era Infection) took batting practice and could return on Sunday.
Orioles: OF Austin Hayes (hand) managed to pinch the run in Friday’s loss, a day after being spiked left-handed, but won’t be able to swing a bat until Sunday.
The Orioles went for reliever Denyi Reyes at Triple-A Norfolk and recalled McKenna.
CANNOT TREAT THE MASTER
With two out in the eighth and McKenna in first, Cedric Mullins hit a grounder to Tigers shortstop Javy Baez, who moved to the right side of second base. Baez moved to tag Mullins, who stopped and began to run back toward first base — a move Baez uses to confuse infielders into chasing him. It didn’t work – Baez simply walked to second base – but the pair shared a laugh after the play.
The teams complete a three-game series on Sunday, with Baltimore’s Tyler Wells (1-2, 3.75) facing Tarik Skubal (2-2, 2.94).
— Dave Hogg, Associated Press