BALTIMORE (AP) — In a matchup of struggling teams, Baltimore prevailed because of its ability to hit the long ball and its opponent made more mistakes than it did.
It was a welcome change for the Orioles.
Renato Núñez and Jonathan Villar homered, and Baltimore took advantage of several misplays by the skidding Detroit Tigers in a 5-3 victory Monday.
It has been a rocky season for the rebuilding Orioles, who have settled into last place in the AL East by putting together a series of losing streaks.
On this occasion, however, Baltimore ran into a team with a similar identity.
Detroit has dropped 12 of 13. In addition to making two errors, one of which led to a pair of unearned runs, the Tigers allowed Hanser Alberto to scoot to second on a grounder up the middle because no one was covering the base.
Detroit also committed a baserunning gaffe: Nicholas Castellanos was doubled off second base in the fifth inning on a fly ball to right field.
“Yeah, we definitely benefited from a couple of their mistakes today,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Teams have benefited from ours. So it was nice to be on the other end.”
This wasn’t the first time this season that Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire watched his team fumble away a game.
“We gave them runs again. We can’t do that,” Gardenhire said. “We made a key mistake and it cost us.”
The most significant miscue was a throwing error by shortstop Ronny Rodriguez, who was trying to start a double play in the third inning and instead threw the ball into right field.
The runner on first came around to score, and Baltimore went up 4-1 when Pedro Severino followed with a sacrifice fly.
Núñez hit a two-run homer off Daniel Norris (2-3) and Villar added a solo shot against Victor Alcántara in the seventh, sending Baltimore to its third win in 14 games.
Despite the victory, the Orioles still own the worst record in the AL at 17-37 and the poorest home mark in the majors at 7-19.
Just two games under .500 on May 12, Detroit is now 19-32.
“Nobody likes losing,” Norris said. “We won’t lay down. I think the tide is going to turn soon.”
After Gabriel Ynoa pitched four innings for Baltimore, Dan Straily (2-4) allowed one run in four innings to earn the win after several poor starts earned him a demotion to the bullpen.
“I’ve had five days to sit in the bullpen and kind of think about this, do a lot of self-evaluation,” the right-hander said. “It’s been frustrating. It’s been a frustrating month.”
Shawn Armstrong got three outs for his first save. Detroit got runners to second and third with two outs in the ninth before Christin Stewart popped out .
The Orioles dealt right-hander Yefry Ramirez to Pittsburgh for a player to be named or cash. Ramirez was designated for assignment by Baltimore last week.
Obtained last week in a trade with the Mets, Orioles center fielder Keon Broxton made his Camden Yards debut. It was, however, his second appearance at the stadium.
As a high school senior, Broxton was given a tryout with Baltimore.
“They wanted to see my talent and see what I had,” he recalled. “This was the first major league stadium I played in, so it’s cool to be able to come back and be on a team.”
Tigers: SS Jordy Mercer (right quad strain) showed no ill effects after playing five innings at shortstop in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo.
“He did fine. He’s making progress,” Gardenhire said.
RHP Jordan Zimmermann (right elbow sprain) is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Friday.
Orioles: DH Mark Trumbo has ended a stint in extended spring training and will continue his quest to return from knee surgery by playing for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday.
Making an appearance in the Orioles clubhouse Monday, Trumbo said, “My mindset has been that this is a pretty serious deal that’s going to require some patience and mental toughness. It’s going as well as it can.”
There is no timetable for the return of 1B Chris Davis, who went on the 10-day IL on Monday with a hip injury. “I have no idea. It’s pretty sore,” Hyde said.