DAVE HOGG, Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) — Matt Wieters hit two of Baltimore’s four home runs, and Orioles chased Jordan Zimmermann in the second inning and moved back ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL wild-card race with an 11-3 rout Saturday night.
Adam Jones and Chris Davis homered in the first inning off Zimmermann (9-6), and Wieters connected in the second and sixth innings.
Baltimore is two games behind first-place Boston in the tightly bunched AL East and one game back of wild-card leader Toronto. The Orioles are one game ahead of the Tigers and New York Yankees for the second wild card.
Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11) allowed two runs, four hits and three walks in seven innings.
Zimmermann, bothered by a neck injury, has been on the disabled list three times and was making his first big league start since Aug. 4 and his second since June 30. He allowed six runs and four hits — including three homers — and two walks while getting three outs. He threw 42 pitches and faced 10 batters.
After an 11-minute rain delay at the start, Adam Jones hit Zimmermann’s first pitch on a high arc into the Tigers bullpen in left. After Manny Machado drew a one-out walk, Chris Davis launched a 2-0 fastball deep into the Baltimore bullpen in center.
J.D. Martinez’s RBI single cut the gap to 3-1 in the bottom half, when Jimenez retired Justin Upton on a grounder to strand runners at the corners.
Wieters hit a two-run homer in the second, when Blaine Hardy threw a run-scoring wild pitch. Wieters hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer in the sixth.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus responded by making eight lineup changes for the seventh, changing every position but catcher.
Orioles: Davis said he plans to keep playing despite a sore left hand that has bothered him for most of the season. Orioles manager Buck Showalter has tried to rest his first baseman by taking him out of lopsided games, and replaced him with Drew Stubbs in the seventh on Saturday..
STAR WARS NIGHT
The Tigers hosted the popular promotion Saturday night, but one member of the team got involved. First-base coach Omar Vizquel went out onto the field, borrowed a light sabre and posed for pictures with Chewbacca.
Tigers third-base coach Dave Clark was uninjured after being hit on his rear by Erick Aybar’s hard one-hopper in the fourth inning. Clark, who stands closer to the plate than most third-base coaches, laughed off the incident. Clark took a glancing blow in the eighth inning from a Steven Moya grounder as he tried to pirouette out of the way.
Tigers ace Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.28) faces Baltimore’s Chris Tillman (15-5, 3.76) in Sunday’s series finale. Tillman is coming off the disabled list, while Verlander is 6-1 with a 2.09 ERA in his last 11 games, posting a quality start each time.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.