BALTIMORE — Down by three runs in the eighth inning, the Orioles had every reason to believe they could rally against the Tigers.
Not only because Baltimore is capable of scoring in bunches, but more important, it was facing Detroit's leaky bullpen.
Delmon Young drove in three with a pinch-hit double, and Baltimore used a four-run eighth for a 7-6 victory Friday and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five AL Division Series.
It will try for a sweep in Game 3 Sunday at Detroit, when Miguel Gonzalez starts against the Tigers' third straight Cy Young winner, former Rays ace David Price.
"It's huge going into Detroit up 2-0," said J.J. Hardy, who scored the go-ahead run with a sweeping slide just ahead of the tag. "We've got to go over there and do our job."
A day after the Orioles battered Detroit relievers during an eight-run eighth that produced a 12-3 win, they pushed the Tigers to the brink of elimination with an uprising against the beleaguered duo of Joba Chamberlain and Joakim Soria — the primary victims on Thursday night.
It was 6-3 with one out in the eighth when Chamberlain hit Adam Jones, then gave up a single to Nelson Cruz. Steve Pearce singled in a run, and the sellout crowd of 48,058 sensed another comeback win by a team that won 10 games during the regular season in its final at-bat.
Soria entered and walked Hardy to load the bases for Young. The former Ray, well known as a free swinger at the plate, inexplicably got a first pitch right down the middle and lined a double into the leftfield corner.
"We did it (Thursday), we've been doing it all year against teams in our own division," Young said.
Young was 10-for-20 as a pinch-hitter in the regular season. He also was the ALCS MVP in 2012 for the Tigers when they swept the Yankees.
"It's very hard to sit around and not know where the consistent at-bats are coming," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He has done the things that you need to do to give yourself a chance to be successful."
Soria wound up with the loss, but Chamberlain took the blame: "This one is on me. Obviously, if I don't put us in that situation, then we're having a different conversation."