Detroit Tigers win 5-2 Monday to finish with series split vs. Baltimore Orioles
By DAVE HOGG
DETROIT — Jordy Mercer hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Monday to split a four-game series between the teams with the worst records in the major leagues.
After the first series in American League history between teams 50 or more games under .500, Detroit (45-104) has a 3 1/2 game “lead” over Baltimore (49-101) for the top pick in June’s amateur draft, which goes to the club with the lowest winning percentage this season.
Detroit needs one win in six games left at Comerica Park to avoid breaking the major league record of 59 home losses, set in 1939 by the St. Louis Browns.
Tyler Alexander (1-3), a 24-year-old left-hander forced into the rotation by a doubleheader last week, got his first big league win. He allowed one run and four hits in six innings during his first start since Aug. 7.
Joe Jimenez retired the first two batters in the ninth before the Orioles loaded the bases on three singles. Trey Mancini, who hit his third homer of the series in the sixth inning, struck out on three pitches.
John Means (10-11) gave up five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Detroit led 2-0 after its first two batters. Victor Reyes tripled over center fielder Austin Hays’ and Mercer hit the next pitch into the Baltimore bullpen in left-center for his ninth homer. Victor Reyes made it 4-0 with a two-out, two-run double in the fifth and Dawel Lugo hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth.