DETROIT (AP) -- It might have just gotten tougher for the Detroit
Tigers to hold off the surging Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.
After Baltimore beat the Tigers 12-8 on Sunday in 10 innings --
cutting their division lead to a game over Minnesota -- second
baseman Placido Polanco said his season is over."I'm out for the year," Polanco said.
The Tigers dropped a 12-8 decision to the Orioles in 10 innings on Sunday. It was the fourth time this season that Detroit lost an extra-inning game by a margin of at least four runs, matching the 2002 Royals for the most such losses in a single season for any team in major-league history.• For more Elias Says, Click here
Polanco was put on the disabled list on Aug. 16 with a separated
left shoulder after making a tumbling catch at Boston. He was
expected to be out four to six weeks.Polanco recently started to hit and was sore after batting
practice Saturday, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. Polanco did not
hit before Sunday's game.If Polanco is out for the season -- and not just reacting
emotionally to a possible setback -- it would be a blow to the
slumping Tigers. Team trainer Kevin Rand said Polanco still has
day-to-day status, according to team spokesman Rick Thompson.Since leading the AL Central by 10 games after play on Aug. 7,
Detroit has lost 24 of 37 games and seen its lead almost vanish."That our lead was 10 games in August is irrelevant now," said
Sean Casey, whose two-out, two-run homer in the eighth inning made
it 8-all. "We can't do anything about that now."The Tigers, who haven't been to the playoffs since 1987, can do
something about their postseason positioning this week.Detroit opens a three-game series Monday on the road against the
third-place White Sox, who might end up competing with the Tigers
for the AL's wild card if they can't stop their slump. The White
Sox are five games behind."Things are tight for us, but they're tight for Minnesota and
Chicago, too," Casey said. "It's fun."This is what you play for, to go to Chicago in September with
games that mean something."It was difficult to tell the Orioles -- who had lost 14 of 18 to
fall a season-high 22 games under .500 -- had only pride on the line
in the series finale at Detroit.Miguel Tejada hit a tiebreaking single to spark a four-run 10th
inning for the Orioles, who lost a 4-1 lead in the fourth."That was a real battle," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said.
"I give each club credit. They both went out there and fought like
they were in a pennant race."Our guys just kept battling away. They just kept going. I've
been saying that all along. I'm proud of them."Brian Roberts led off the 10th with a single, advanced on a wild
pitch and scored on Tejada's hit. The Orioles added three more runs
off Jason Grilli (2-3).Chris Ray (2-3) pitched 2 1-3 innings and earned the win after
blowing his fifth save in 36 opportunities."I got myself into the situation, I figured I might as well
finish it," Ray said.The Orioles took an 8-6 lead on Chris Gomez's RBI single in the
seventh and Nick Markakis' solo homer in the eighth.Gomez, Markakis, Melvin Mora and Kevin Millar hit homers for the
Orioles. Gomez and Ramon Hernandez each had four hits, matching
career highs.Left fielder Jeff Fiorentino made a leaping catch that might've
gone over the wall, preventing Matt Stairs from pulling the Tigers
within a run in the eighth.Detroit starter Wilfredo Ledezma allowed five runs and seven
hits in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest of five starts this season and
his second straight poor performance.After Baltimore scored three in the fourth, the Tigers scored
five in the home half -- three on Neifi Perez's double -- to go ahead
6-5."We fought hard. We just couldn't stop them," Leyland said.
"Our pitching wasn't good and that's rare for us."Kenny Rogers, on an extra day of rest, will start for the Tigers
on Monday against Chicago.Daniel Cabrera gave up six runs, four hits and four walks while
striking out six for the Orioles.
Baltimore RHP Rodrigo Lopez pitched two innings of perfect
relief, but didn't pitch in the seventh because he felt tightness
in his biceps. "We'll look at it tomorrow and make a decision,"
Perlozzo said. ... Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya (wrist) pitched for
the first time since Sept. 9 and still had his velocity, throwing a
pitch 102 mph to Mora.