Nelson Cruz got the scoring started early with a 2-run home run in the 1st for a 2-0 O's lead. This is after Cruz hit 6 home runs against the Tigers in the 2011 ALCS. Detroit would respond quickly in the next half inning when Victor and J.D Martinez went back-to-back to tie the game at 2. That tie wouldn't last long, as Nick Markakis gave the O's the 3-2 lead in the next half inning with an RBI single.
That ended all scoring until the 7th inning when J.J Hardy extended the Orioles lead to 4-2 with a solo shot. Max Scherzer had retired 13 straight Orioles before the home run, and he would pitch in to the 8th for the Tigers. Scherzer gave up 5 runs on on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. He was pulled following an Alejandro De Aza double with one out in the 8th inning.
The Orioles' lead was just 4-3 after a Miguel Cabrera solo home run in the top of the 8th. That lead would extend rapidly once the Tigers dipped in to their bullpen. Andrew Romine bobbled an Adam Jones grounder to score a run, and give the Orioles a 5-3 lead. The O's would go on to score 7 more in the inning, facing 3 different relief pitchers in the inning. Joba Chamberlain, Joakim Soria, and Phil Coke combined to give up 6 runs on 5 hits.
Cruz, De Aza, Ryan Flaherty, Nick Hundley, and Jonathan Schoop all drove in runs in the 8-run 8th inning. The Tigers struggled at the plate after the second inning, missing out on key scoring opportunities. They loaded the bases in the 5th, but Torii Hunter would ground out to end the threat. Hunter later lined in to a double play before Cabrera's 8th inning home run. The Tigers will send Justin Verlander to the hill Friday afternoon for game 2. The Orioles will respond with Wei-Yin Chen, as they look to take the first 2 games of the series.