Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Homer-happy O's slug way past Padres

The Orioles continued their month of mashing Tuesday night, pounding out 17 hits -- including a trio of homers -- as they cruised past the Padres, 11-7, at Petco Park.
Making his return to his hometown, Adam Jones led off the game with a home run to the opposite field, setting the tone for Baltimore's offensive onslaught, in which all eight starting position players recorded at least one hit. Hyun Soo Kim and Chris Davis also went deep, giving the Orioles 54 homers in June -- one shy of the Major League record.
"That's the thing we've been focusing on this year, passing the baton and getting good at-bats," said Jonathan Schoop, who has recorded back-to-back three-hit games and is batting .488 over his past 10 games. "Get good at-bats and trust each other and pass the baton for the other guy to do it. Jonesy had a great at bat, I got a double, Manny [Machado] got a base hit. Those are the things we're really looking forward to doing."
Even with the Orioles' three blasts, Melvin Upton Jr. recorded the most prolific home run of the night. His first-inning moonshot to straightaway center field was projected at 465 feet -- the longest Padres homer ever recorded by Statcast™.
But that was the only damage San Diego would inflict upon Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez. He tossed five innings of one-run ball and allowed just three hits, before exiting with a 10-run lead. Meanwhile, Padres starter Erik Johnson was roughed up again, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings. Johnson surrendered two of the three Orioles homers and has now allowed 14 long balls in his 31 1/3 innings pitched this season.
"Another addition to the game plan was to throw more sinkers, especially early in the count, [get] more early contact," Johnson said. "Definitely got more ground balls. … Again, a couple balls elevated in the zone and I pay the price."
O's bats stay hot:
 Baltimore, already the Major League leader in home runs, clubbed three more and turned in its third double-digit scoring game in its last nine. Kim drove in three runs and Machado and Schoop drove in two apiece.
"Yeah, you know, from one through nine, ever since Spring Training the lineup one through nine, everyone can do damage, everyone can contribute. One day someone will step up and another guy will step up in another way," Schoop said.
Double Up: So what did Upton do for an encore to the longest Padres blast ever recorded by Statcast™? Well, he made sure Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy wouldn't get in on the fun. In the top of the second, Hardy sent a one-out rocket to straightaway center. Upton raced to the track and leapt, while fully extending his left arm beyond the wall. Somehow, he hauled in the baseball, before firing a 92-mph strike to first base, to complete a jaw-dropping double play.More >
"Honestly, that one, I just kind of jumped for it and was surprised it ended up in my glove," Upton said, before pondering whether it was the best play he's ever made. "Yeah, [it's] definitely No. 1."
Jimenez beats the Padres … again: Despite being removed from the rotation for poor performance, Jimenez was given back-to-back starts against San Diego. And he's delivered, recording his first back-to-back wins this season. The righty hasn't been spectacular, but he did go five innings and held San Diego to one run.
"Just forget about it. I think that was kind of the approach that I had," Jimenez said of working around three walks. "I don't want to walk guys, especially my last inning. I got two quick outs and then for some reason I allowed those two walks [in the fifth]. But we were able to make a good pitch down on [Matt] Kemp and get out of the inning. That's the thing, you have to find a way to forget about the walks. And go get the next guy."
Wil's June boon: With his three-run shot in the seventh inning, Wil Myers became the first Padre in history to hit 11 homers in June -- surpassing Greg Vaughn's mark set in 1998. Myers continues to cement his case for the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, as he leads the host Padres with 18 home runs this season.
"We had a rested bullpen before we created some problems there at the end. We got to do a little better job there. But the good guys won. We'll take it. Tough winning on the road." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter on the 'pen surrendering three runs in the seventh and three in the ninth
The leadoff homers by Jones and Upton marked just the second time this season that both teams have begun a game by hitting a long ball. On May 30 in Colorado, Reds shortstopZack Cozart went deep to start the game, before Charlie Blackmon tied the game in the bottom of the first.
Davis moved past Frank Robinson for ninth on the Orioles' all-time homer list at 180.
Orioles: Baltimore will send Yovani Gallardo to the mound for the series finale Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. ET. The righty settled down in his last start, after a three-run first, to hold Tampa Bay scoreless over his final 4 1/3 innings. Gallardo has a 4.08 ERA in 12 career starts vs. SD.
Padres: Left-hander Christian Friedrich takes the hill for the Padres, as they wrap up their quick two-game set with Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon at 12:40 p.m. PT. Friedrich will be looking to put a couple of rocky outings behind him. After allowing eight earned runs in his first six starts for San Diego, he's allowed 10 in his last two.

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