DETROIT - Clete Thomas didn't know how to react after hitting his first game-winning homer.

Thomas homered with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.

He hit a 1-2 fastball from Danys Baez (4-5) into the shrubs above the centerfield fence.

"I've never hit a walk-off homer before - not at any level," he said. "When I was rounding first and realized it had gone out, I didn't know how to react. It feels better than you even think it will - and that's something you always dream of doing."

The homer completed a rally from a 5-0 deficit. Justin Verlander allowed five runs before getting his second out, but didn't give up another in his eight innings of work.

"This is one of my favorite starts of my career," Verlander said. "In the past, I would have fallen apart - when I struggled in the first, I would never make it out of the fourth. Tonight, I went eight and kept us in the game."

"To pitch the way he did after that first inning - that just shows that he's one of the best pitchers in baseball," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Fernando Rodney (2-2) pitched a scoreless ninth.

Orioles rookie Chris Tillman gave up five runs in six innings in his second career start.

Brian Roberts led off against Verlander with a homer, and the next three batters singled to load the bases.

Aubrey Huff made it 2-0 by grounding into a force at second before Ty Wigginton doubled in the third run and Luke Scott added a two-run double.

"After that, he was a completely different pitcher," Huff said.

Rays 10, Royals 4

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Carl Crawford had three hits and three RBIs for Tampa Bay.

Crawford, who stole his league-leading 49th base, went 3 for 3 against Kansas City starter Zack Greinke (10-7) after having just one hit in 16 previous at-bats against him.

Athletics 3, Rangers 2

At Oakland, Calif., pinch-hitter Rajai Davis tripled down the right field line to drive in two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and lift Oakland over Texas.

C.J. Wilson (4-5) blew his third save in 16 chances after allowing singles to Jack Cust, Tommy Everidge and Mark Ellis, before Davis' triple.

Mike Wuertz (6-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings.

Marlon Byrd drove in a run and Hank Blalock scored the game's first run on a double play for the Rangers.

A's starter Brett Anderson gave up six hits over 7 2-3 innings with eight strikeouts and three walks.

Dustin Nippert, who started in place of the injured Kevin Millwood, gave up one hit in five innings. He walked two and struck out five.


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