BALTIMORE (AP) — Wilson Betemit homered, rookie Andy Dirks had a career-high four hits, and the Detroit Tigers overcame two home runs by J.J. Hardy in a 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Dirks went 4 for 4 with a walk and singled in the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning. Acquired in a July 20 trade with Kansas City, Betemit had three hits and is 9 for 17 in his last five games.
Alex Avila had two hits and scored twice to help the first-place Tigers maintain their four-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central.
Detroit received 3 2-3 innings of one-hit relief from a stellar bullpen that has an 0.84 ERA over the last eight games.
Hardy’s third multihomer game of the season was not enough to prevent Baltimore from losing for the eighth time in 10 games.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)