John Means, Maikel Franco lead Orioles to win over Tigers

John Means Orioles Tigers Baseball
Posted at 9:37 PM, Jul 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-31 21:37:56-04

DETROIT (AP) — John Means struck out six in six strong innings, Maikel Franco homered and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 on Saturday night.

Means (5-3) gave up one run on four hits and recorded his first victory since May 5. The left-hander was making his third start since going on the injured list in early June with a left shoulder strain.

Ryan Mountcastle contributed three hits, an RBI and scored a run. Pat Valaika had two hits and two RBIs for the Orioles, who have won six of their last eight games.

Cole Sulser earned his fifth save, striking out the last two batters after Detroit loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth.

Eric Haase hit his team-high 18th homer for the Tigers.

Detroit starter Matt Manning (2-4) gave up five runs, two earned, on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Baltimore scored a run in the third on Mountcastle’s two-out, bloop single.

Haase tied it with his one-out solo shot in the fourth.

Franco put the Orioles back on top 2-1 in the fifth with his 11th homer, which barely cleared the left-field wall.

The Orioles scored three unearned runs in the sixth. With the bases loaded and two out, Franco hit a ground ball to shortstop Zack Short, who attempted a force-out at second. Second baseman Willi Castro dropped the ball as a run scored. Valaika followed with his two-run single to right.


Orioles: LHP Keegan Akin, who cleared COVID-19 protocols on Wednesday, is expected to be activated on Sunday, manager Brandon Hyde said.

Tigers: INF Isaac Paredes (right hip strain) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo on Friday. INF Niko Goodrum (left calf contusion) started a rehab assignment at Toledo on Saturday.


Orioles RHP Spenser Watkins (2-1, 3.10 ERA) will oppose Tigers LHP Tyler Alexander (1-1, 4.80 ERA) on Sunday in the finale of the four-game series. Watkins, who will be making his fifth career start, was released by the Tigers organization last summer. Alexander gave up a season-high five runs in four innings at Minnesota on Tuesday.