Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, left, is congratulated by Torii Hunter after hitting a three-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth inning. ASSOCIATED PRESS
BALTIMORE — Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer off Tommy Hunter with two outs in the ninth inning and the Detroit Tigers, down to their last strike, rallied past the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 Tuesday night.
After being held scoreless on three hits over the first eight innings, the Tigers used a reversed call to win. Detroit was 0-12 when trailing going into the ninth before mounting the improbable comeback.
Hunter held a 1-0 lead before giving up a leadoff single to Alex Avila. Pinch-runner Rajai Davis was called out trying to steal, but Detroit manager Brad Ausmus challenged the call and after looking at the replay, umpires overturned the call.
Hunter (1-1) got two straight outs before working the count on Torii Hunter to 1-2. The at-bat ended in a walk, and Cabrera hit an 0-1 curveball over the center-field wall for his sixth home run.
Victor Martinez then hit a shot to right that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the scoreboard in right field.
Justin Miller (1-1) pitched one inning to earn his first big league win and Joe Nathan got three outs for his ninth save. Nathan has seven saves and a 0.00 ERA in his last eight outings.
Adam Jones hit a first-inning homer for the Orioles, who have dropped three in a row following a five-game winning streak. Jones has five home runs, four in the last seven games.
Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez gave up three hits, walked two and struck out seven in seven innings. After going 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA in April, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 0.46 ERA in May.
Jimenez, who signed a four-year, $50 million contract as a free agent in February, permitted only one runner past first base. All three hits against him were singles, and on each occasion the runner was erased trying to steal.
Darren O’Day worked a perfect eighth, but Hunter couldn’t preserve the lead. He left the mound to jeers from fans who minutes earlier were standing in anticipation of the final out.
Detroit starter Drew Smyly allowed five hits over six innings and matched a season high with seven strikeouts. In his previous three outings against the Orioles, all in relief, Smyly gave up two hits and struck out eight in eight shutout innings.
Detroit trailed 1-0 in the seventh when Hunter led off with a single and Cabrera walked. After Jimenez bounced a curveball, rookie catcher Caleb Joseph quickly found the handle on the loose ball and threw out Hunter trying to take third. Martinez bounced into a 4-6-3 double play.
Baltimore catchers were 4 for 29 in throwing out would-be stealers before Joseph went 3 for 4. The rookie also got his first major league hit, a fourth-inning single.
After Jones connected in the first inning, Baltimore wasted a leadoff double in the second. Baltimore loaded the bases with two outs in the third before Austin Jackson made a fine running catch of J.J. Hardy’s sinking liner to center.
Detroit got only two hits over the first six innings, by Martinez in the second and Cabrera in the fourth. Neither advanced.
NOTES: RHP Kevin Gausman will be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to start Wednesday for the Orioles. The move was designed to give starters Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez an extra day of rest. Gonzalez will be available in the bullpen for Wednesday’s game. ... Ausmus said RHP Anibal Sanchez (finger laceration) will come off the DL to start Sunday against Boston. ... Detroit’s Rick Porcello, who left Monday’s game with a tightness in his side, remains on schedule for his next start Saturday. ... Orioles manager Buck Showalter said starter Chris Tillman had some groin soreness after his start Sunday, but the right-hander appears to have recovered.