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Orioles score four in eighth against Tigers' bullpen to take 2-0 ALDS lead

Baltimore Orioles' Nelson Cruz, from left, J.J. Hardy

Baltimore Orioles' Nelson Cruz, from left, J.J. Hardy and Steve Pearce celebrate after scoring on a double by Delmon Young in the eighth inning of Game 2 in the AL Division Series against the Detroit Tigers in Baltimore, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. Credit: AP / Nick Wass

BALTIMORE - The building brought the noise starting at the 12:07 p.m. first pitch and never let up. And the chants came long and loud after Delmon Young's huge hit in the bottom of the eighth inning.

"We won't stop! We won't stop!'' is the Orioles' adopted slogan from the regular season. And it doesn't look as if they'll be stopping in this playoff round.

Beating up on a beleaguered Tigers bullpen for a second straight day, the Orioles scored four runs in the eighth to erase a three-run deficit and earned a 7-6 victory Friday in Game 2 of the American League Division Series in front of 48,058 at Camden Yards.

The Orioles took a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-five series, which continues Sunday in Detroit. "We have to keep our focus, go over there and take care of business,'' Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said.

Baltimore has taken care of most of its business in the eighth inning in this series. In their 12-3 Game 1 victory Thursday, the Orioles knocked out Max Scherzer before abusing Joba Chamberlain, Joakim Soria and Phil Coke in an eight-run eighth. But Friday's four-run eighth against Chamberlain and Soria, in many ways, was even more stunning.

The Tigers, who got an OK outing out of Justin Verlander (three runs, six hits and 101 pitches in five innings), brought a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth, thanks mostly to a three-run homer by J.D. Martinez and a solo shot by Nick Castellanos on consecutive pitches from Wei-Yin Chen in the fourth.

Anibal Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings after taking over for Verlander with one on and none out in the sixth, but Tigers manager Brad Ausmus decided to go with Chamberlain to start the eighth, much to the delight of the crowd.

After retiring Alejandro De Aza, Chamberlain hit Adam Jones and allowed a single by Nelson Cruz before Steve Pearce's single to right made it 6-4.

"This one's on me, there's no getting around it,'' Chamberlain said. "Obviously, if I don't put us in that situation, then we're having a different conversation right now.''

Ausmus then called on Soria, who was charged with four runs in one-third of an inning and allowed an inherited runner to score Thursday. He walked Hardy on five pitches to load the bases.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter sent up Young, a Tiger in 2011-12 who was signed to a minor-league deal in the offseason, to pinch hit for Ryan Flaherty. Young, who had been 10-for-20 this season as a pinch hitter, jumped on a first-pitch hanging slider and lined it into the leftfield corner for a three-run double and a 7-6 lead.

Ian Kinsler's relay throw was just to the first-base side of the plate and Hardy slid to the third-base side, barely beating Alex Avila's diving tag to score the go-ahead run.

The hit produced the kind of noise typically heard at close-by M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL Ravens.

"We call him Bruce Lee,'' Cruz said of Young. "He doesn't lose a fight. Every time he comes up, he delivers.''

Both Cruz and Young have had that kind of streak on this kind of stage. They were ALCS MVPs in back-to-back seasons. Cruz did it for the 2011 Rangers and Young accomplished it in 2012 as the Tigers beat the Yankees.

"Just trying to do my job,'' Young said. "You don't want to go to Detroit 1-1 when they have [David] Price going and [Rick] Porcello going.''

Young had the day's biggest hit, but there were other reasons the Orioles won.

The Tigers' Victor Martinez had an RBI double in the eighth, but Jonathan Schoop's relay throw cut down Miguel Cabrera at the plate for the first out of the inning, keeping the score at 6-3.

There also was the performance of 23-year-old righthander Kevin Gausman, who gave up that run but not much else in his 32/3 innings.

And Zach Britton, who went 37-for-41 in saves during the regular season, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close it.

Said Britton, "We felt pretty confident if we could get in their bullpen, we could get a rally going and put some runs on the board.''

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