Tigers homer twice off Bundy, edge Orioles 6-5

Tiger statue at Comerica Park in Detroit

It wasn't a runaway game, but it was still a much-needed win in a season where the Tigers need all the Ws they can get.

On paper, the first 38 games probably look like a disappointment. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter brought in Brad Brach, but J.D. Martinez drove a 3-1 delivery over the right-center wall to give Detroit an 8-7 lead.

Here are five reasons for optimism despite the team's inconsistent start.

After starter Matt Boyd got knocked out in the third inning, with the Tigers down 7-1, Ausmus turned to Bell, who kept the margin that way until the seventh.

Health has been a factor in the slow start. He's recovering from a strained oblique.

Even with the six runs allowed, Bundy was efficient for most of the day. The strikeouts represented a season-high in swings-and-misses.

Why should fans feel encouraged by these numbers? Then Andrew Romine and Miguel Cabrera singled, making it 11-10.

Do you believe that luck evens out?

Wade Miley seldom pitched deep into games over the season's first six weeks, but always left the Orioles in a good place on the scoreboard. Iglesias went to third on an infield single by third baseman Nicholas Castellanos, and watched them all score on a three-run home run by right fielder J.D. "So we are optimistic it will be only two or three days".

Martinez now has five home runs in six games since returning from a almost eight-week stint on the disabled list on May 12.

If the Tigers ever get fully healthy, they could really make some noise this summer.

"All in all, the guys have handled the challenge pretty good, but we had a tough spell here on this trip", Showalter said.

He allowed two homers and has now given up 11 on the year, including 10 in his last five starts.

Justin Verlander is the most surprising culprit. Richard Bleier (1-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings to pick up the victory.

Lefthander Daniel Norris has the unenviable task of trying to tame Texas' blistering offense.

Jordan Zimmermann (4-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, and three relievers finished for Detroit.

Michael Fulmer has been excellent so far in his Rookie of the Year encore campaign, but he needs help from the rest of his rotation mates. He just made a couple of bad pitches at the wrong times earlier in his outing and the Martinez tandem made him pay for it. "But that's part of a long season". He has not been scored upon in 6? innings since being called up from Toledo. Those four losses all came on the road. But with two outs in the top of ninth, after closer Justin Wilson had retired Adam Jones and Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo lined a home run to right field to tie it. With solid performances from Shane Greene and Blaine Hardy in matchup roles, the back end of the bullpen has seemingly become a strength.

At the beginning of the year, the bullpen was a glaring weakness.

On a game-by-game basis, run differential doesn't mean anything in baseball. Martinez, got Bundy with two men on base in the third inning.

But run differential has proven to be a strong predictor of success, not only because teams that win are obviously more likely to have a positive differential, but also because the more dominant teams separate themselves from the pack.

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