Problem is, the Tigers are having trouble beating anybody nowadays and -- once a legitimate AL Central contender at the midseason -- are battling to finish at .500 this season.
Detroit has lost six in a row, including the first three games of the four-game set against the Orioles to end the season. With a win in Sunday's finale, the Tigers can finish a tumultuous season at 81-81.
With a frustrating week that has been filled with rain delays, postponements and make-up scenarios, Detroit has not won a game since a 5-1 victory against the Twins on Sept. 26, which capped a three-game sweep over the AL Central champs.
Meanwhile, the Orioles are clearly improving under the leadership of Buck Showalter, having won 17 of their last 26 games. The club is 34-22 under Showalter, including a 14-4 mark in series openers.
"Neither last season, nor this season did we win enough games to really go home and hang our hats high and feel good about ourselves," said starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who earned a win on Friday. "But we have played really good baseball down the stretch, and if that's what we are going to play next year, than good things are ahead for us."
The big league record for wins by a team after its 73rd loss (the Orioles were 32-73 when Showalter took over) was 34, held by the Phillies under Terry Francona in 1997, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. A Baltimore win on Sunday would break that record.
Also, Showalter is the first manager since 1900 to take over a team in August or later and win more games the rest of the way than the team had won before he took over.
Tigers: Bullpen pitching season finale
Detroit's pitching Sunday will be done by committee, with a number of relievers getting opportunities. Left-hander Phil Coke will get the start, his first of the season. He's 7-5 with a 3.57 ERA this year. ... The Tigers, who have scored just two runs in each of their last two games, continue to struggle to score runs without MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera, who has been out of the lineup since Monday nursing an ankle injury. "The offense, right now, is sputtering quite a bit," manager Jim Leyland said.
Orioles: Bergesen finishing what he started
Things will come full circle Sunday for Orioles starter Brad Bergesen, who also started the home opener for the club. He's coming off one of his worst starts in the last two months, surrendering five runs on five hits in five innings against the Rays. He's 1-1 with a 3.86 career ERA against the Tigers. ... Baltimore is 66-95, bettering last season's record of 64-98. But through 105 games in 2010, the club was 32-73, while Baltimore was 44-61 through 105 games in 2009.
The weekend set is the first of the season series to be played in Baltimore, after Detroit won four of the six games in Detroit between the two squads. ... Having logged 137 2/3 career innings of work with a 12-8 career record, Coke has never started a big league game.
Sun, 10/3 1:35 PM ET
Tigers' rally snaps O's winning streak
Brandon Inge's two-run homer tied the game and Johnny Damon's final hit as a Tiger capped a rally against Orioles starter Brad Bergesen, as Detroit downed Baltimore in the season finale at Camden Yards.
|Jackson, A, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.293|
|1-Sizemore, S, PR-DH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.224|
|Peralta, Jh, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.249|
|Wells, C, RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.323|
1-Ran for Damon in the 6th.
|Jones, Ad, CF||5||0||1||0||0||2||6||.284|
|Bell, J, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||4||.214|
|Izturis, C, SS||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.230|
|a-Patterson, C, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.269|
|Snyder, B, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.300|
2B: Rhymes 2 (12, Bergesen, Gonzalez, M).
HR: Inge (13, 5th inning off Bergesen, 1 on, 2 out).
TB: Rhymes 4; Damon; Raburn; Peralta, Jh; Inge 4.
RBI: Inge 2 (70), Damon (51).
2-out RBI: Inge 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Raburn; Sizemore, S.
Team RISP: 1-for-6.
Team LOB: 4.
SB: Jackson, A (27, 2nd base off Bergesen/Wieters).
DP: (Peralta, Jh-Rhymes-Kelly).
2B: Andino (4, Coke).
TB: Andino 3; Markakis 3; Jones, Ad; Scott; Pie; Wieters; Bell, J.
RBI: Scott (72), Markakis (60).
2-out RBI: Markakis.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Pie; Jones, Ad 3; Bell, J 3; Scott.
Team RISP: 4-for-16.
Team LOB: 11.
SB: Scott (2, 2nd base off Schlereth/Avila).
E: Izturis, C (9, fielding), Snyder, B (2, missed catch).
|Thomas, B(H, 4)||1.0||0||0||0||1||0||0||3.89|
Pitches-strikes: Coke 45-27, Schlereth 49-30, Weinhardt 20-13, Thomas, B 14-8, Perry 14-11, Valverde 12-8, Bergesen 89-62, Gonzalez, M 11-7, Johnson, Ji 18-16.
Groundouts-flyouts: Coke 0-2, Schlereth 2-2, Weinhardt 1-1, Thomas, B 2-0, Perry 2-1, Valverde 0-0, Bergesen 11-5, Gonzalez, M 1-1, Johnson, Ji 2-2.
Batters faced: Coke 11, Schlereth 15, Weinhardt 4, Thomas, B 3, Perry 3, Valverde 4, Bergesen 26, Gonzalez, M 4, Johnson, Ji 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Schlereth 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Chris Guccione. 1B: Phil Cuzzi. 2B: Brian O'Nora. 3B: Jerry Crawford.
Weather: 62 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 2 mph, In from CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media