BALTIMORE (AP) — Rick Porcello won his fifth straight start, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 Monday night in a duel between AL division leaders that included a bench-clearing fray.
After Ian Kinsler’s two-run homer in the eighth made it 4-1, Orioles starter Bud Norris hit Torii Hunter in the ribcage with a pitch.
Hunter yelled at Norris, and as he made his way toward first base, the Tigers outfielder moved slightly in the direction of the mound. That caused both dugouts to empty, and relievers from both bullpens charged toward the infield.
Order was quickly restored before anyone blatantly shoved each other, and no punches were thrown.
Norris (2-3) was ultimately ejected by home plate umpire James Hoye. As the right-hander made his way toward the Baltimore dugout, he shouted once more at Hunter, who yelled back.
Porcello (6-1) allowed one run and five hits in six innings, walking none and striking out two in matching the longest winning streak of his career. The right-hander improved to 3-5 lifetime against Baltimore, 1-3 at Camden Yards.
Joe Nathan worked a perfect the ninth for his eighth save.
Steve Clevenger had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in Baltimore’s lone run. Clevenger has taken over the starting role at catcher while Matt Wieters (right elbow strain) is on the 15-day disabled list.
Nick Markakis went 0 for 4, ending his 18-game hitting streak. Markakis flied out to center in the seventh with a runner on third and two outs with the Orioles down by a run.
Baltimore went up 1-0 in the second inning when J.J. Hardy hit a two-out single and scored on a double by Clevenger.
Norris was perfect through three innings with four strikeouts. In the fourth, however, Kinsler walked, stole second and scored on a single by Miguel Cabrera. Victor Martinez followed with a double and Austin Jackson added a sacrifice fly.
Baltimore singled in the third, fourth and fifth innings but the runner never advanced past first base.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed by rain for 35 minutes. ... Norris caught a foul ball near the Detroit dugout, darting to his right to catch the popup off the bat of Andrew Romine. ... The Orioles recalled RHP Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Norfolk to strengthen a weary bullpen. He got four straight outs after Norris left ... Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez, who’s on the DL with a lacerated finger, threw 60 pitches in a simulated game Monday. He’s eligible to return from the DL on May 18. ...Ubaldo Jimemez, who starts for Baltimore on Tuesday night, was 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA in April and 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA in May. Drew Smyly (2-2) will start for Detroit. ... Kinsler was caught stealing in the sixth, making Baltimore catchers 4 for 29 in nailing would-be stealers.