DETROIT - Edwin Jackson's pitch counts have been almost the same in his last two starts.
The results have been completely different.
Five days after needing 115 pitches to get through four innings, Jackson only needed 117 to get into the ninth inning of Detroit's 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles last night.
Jackson (8-5) had held the Orioles to two hits through eight shutout innings but hit Nolan Reimold with a pitch to start the ninth. Adam Jones followed with a homer to left. Fernando Rodney entered and got three outs for his 22nd save in 23 tries.
"Obviously, I was able to do more tonight with my pitches," said Jackson, who struck out eight. "Tonight I just wanted to attack the strike zone and get outs."
Jackson has only allowed those two runs in two wins over Baltimore this season, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland blamed himself for ruining Jackson's 16-inning shutout streak against the Orioles. Leyland felt he should have changed pitchers after the Tigers sent eight batters to the plate in a three-run eighth.
"He was pitching a two-hit shutout, so I wanted to get him back out there, but as that inning went on and he had to sit there, I started thinking that I should bring in Rodney," Leyland said.
"If we had gone out 1-2-3, I'm sure he would have been fine, but I shouldn't have let him sit that long. That's my fault."
Jeremy Guthrie (7-11) gave up three runs on six hits in 71/3 innings.
"I expected him to pitch that way tonight," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "It was a quality start, and I was pleased with his performance. It was just unfortunate that he had to go against Jackson, who was special tonight."
Baltimore's only hit in the first six innings came as a result of a Detroit defensive blunder. With two outs in the first, Jones hit a blooper toward second. First baseman Miguel Cabrera tried to make the play but pulled off at the last second as the ball dropped for an infield single.
"He had great movement on his pitches, and he was hitting 98 [mph] with the fastball," said Luke Scott. "He just had it all."
Ordonez broke the scoreless tie with his sixth homer in the fifth but hit into an inning-ending double play with two runners on in the seventh.
Placido Polanco gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead with a two-run single off Cla Meredith in the eighth, and Cabrera provided the final run with an RBI single later in the inning.
"Those were some big hits," Leyland said. "Maggs had a big hit, Polly had a big one, and Cabrera got one. That's what we needed."
NOTES: Jackson has only lost once in 11 career starts at Comerica Park. ... Detroit C Alex Avila, son of assistant general manager Al Avila, is expected to make his major league debut this afternoon against the Orioles.
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