DETROIT -- Victor Martinez tends to make his home runs count. The latest from the Detroit Tigers' veteran designated hitter might have been his biggest of the season.

Martinez drilled a go-ahead solo homer in the eighth, lifting the Tigers past the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Friday at Comerica Park.

Martinez led off the inning against reliever Brad Brach (8-3) with his blast to right-center as the Tigers tied the Orioles for the second Wild Card spot in the American League at 76-64. Detroit is 15-5 in games that Martinez has homered.

"Victor's been doing that to a lot of good pitchers through the years," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.

The Tigers have been pulling out close games to make themselves a playoff contender. They're 26-15 in one-run games and have won 40 games after falling behind.

"I just think it promotes the belief that we can get to anybody," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "Back ends of the bullpens are some of the best pitchers in the game, and you don't get too many looks at them, like you do starters. If you can get to them -- and we've done that a number of times -- you never lose that faith, even if you're down to your final out."

J.D. Martinez reached base four times and drove in two runs and Erick Aybar added an RBI double for Detroit.

Alex Wilson (3-0) picked up the win in relief and Francisco Rodriguez nailed down his 40th save. Tigers starter Michael Fulmer gave up just two runs on three hits with five strikeouts in seven innings.

Fulmer, who had lost his last three starts, departed with a 3-2 lead. The rookie right-hander's 2.76 ERA would lead the American League if he had enough innings to qualify.

"It felt (like a) playoff atmosphere, if I knew what it felt like," Fulmer said with a grin. "But it was fun, it really was. I got pumped up there, the later I went into the game. The crowd was on its feet for a lot of the game and that gets us going."

Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer for Baltimore, while Adam Jones scored a run and knocked in another. Orioles starter Kevin Gausman allowed three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.

Gausman carried a streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings into the game and added another before the Tigers pushed across a run in the second. He finished with 114 pitches after retiring the side in the sixth.

"I thought one of his best innings was the last inning," Showalter said. "He's showing us that can take it into the (deep) pitch count and be effective. He was working on an extra day's rest or we probably wouldn't have done it. He worked out of some tough jams against a good offensive team operating at the top of their game."

Schoop's sixth-inning homer into the left-field stands pulled Baltimore within one, 3-2.

Hyun Soo Kim's bloop double and Jones' run-scoring single off Wilson tied it in the eighth.

Gausman's streak was snapped when Aybar brought J.D. Martinez home with a double down the right-field line.

Baltimore didn't have a hit until Jones' bunt single in the fourth.

The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. Gausman struck out Victor Martinez for the second out but J.D. Martinez bounced a single up the middle, knocking in Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler for a 3-0 lead.

NOTES: Detroit 3B Nick Castellanos, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 7 with a left hand fracture, is hopeful he can return to action by Sept. 18. He's been taking grounders this week but has yet to face live pitching. "Every game is important and every game I want to play," he said. "It (stinks) that I can't." ... Tigers RHP Jordan Zimmermann, who was activated off the DL earlier this week, will start Saturday's game. "I feel like I've been around long enough that I can be thrown into a situation like this," he said. ... Orioles 1B Chris Davis returned to the lineup after missing a game with a sore left hand. "(The injury) won't be gone until after the season," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ... Baltimore RHP Darren O'Day (rotator cuff strain) will pitch a simulated game in the coming days and Showalter is hopeful he'll be activated from the DL "in the next week or so."