Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Orioles win 7th straight, tie June HR record

 Mark Trumbo made Baltimore's impressive June at the plate historic, launching the club's 55th homer of the month, as the Orioles completed a two-game sweep of the Padres with a 12-6 victory Wednesday afternoon at Petco Park.
Trumbo golfed a Christian Friedrich fastball into the second deck of the left-field seats, capping a four-run fourth inning that put the Orioles on top for good. With the two-run shot, Baltimore tied the 1996 A's for the most home runs by a single team in June.
The O's have hit their 55 home runs in 27 games, while it took the '96 A's 29 contests. The record for most in any month is 58, shared by the Orioles in May '87 and the Mariners in May '99. Baltimore will be in Seattle on Thursday for the first of a four-game series at Safeco Field, where the club will look to add to its already historic June.
"Some guys are aware, some aren't. Obviously, it's a special thing, but it's not something that anyone is going to gloat about or spend too much time thinking about," Trumbo said. "It just goes to show that we are on a nice little run."
Padres third baseman Brett Wallace provided the bulk of the offense for San Diego, launching a three-run shot to center in the sixth. But that was the only damage done against Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo, who tossed six strong frames, allowing just three hits and striking out six, while registering his first quality start of the season.
"I think the ball was coming out pretty good out of my hand," Gallardo said. "Even early in that first inning, I had a good slider going. I was able to locate it and just also my fastball felt pretty good coming out of my hand. Just locating those pitches allowed me to get some weak contact."
Friedrich, meanwhile, threw three perfect innings before coming undone in the fourth. He allowed six runs (four earned) over five innings and has now surrendered 14 earned runs in his past three starts after giving up just eight in his first six outings for the Padres. Trumbo's homer came on a 2-2 fastball that crossed the plate half a foot inside -- but with hardly any movement.
"It was supposed to be a two-seamer that ran at him and came back a little bit," Friedrich said. "The fact that it just kept staying there allowed him to really pull his hands in. It was a good piece of hitting, but if I'm not throwing 92 mph in there -- if it's 88 -- it's easier for him to make the adjustment."
O's record power: It was only fitting for the first-place Orioles that Trumbo would deliver the record-tying blast, which traveled an estimated 410 feet. The O's slugger has a Major League-leading 23 homers and has been a big part of the team's impressive offense in his first season with the club. More >
"Jon [Schoop] was talking about this yesterday, they've really taken on this pass-the-baton [approach]. It's not selfish. It's that feeling that the weight of expectations is not just on me," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of his team's offense. "... It's a product of everybody feeding off each other."
Green gets the gate: If we've learned anything from Padres manager Andy Green's two ejections this season, it's that there's some fire behind his typically even-keeled persona. Green got tossed Wednesday after a Friedrich throwing error gave the Orioles a 6-0 lead in the fifth. Green argued that Chris Davis had run outside of his lane to first base, where Wil Myers wasn't able to collect Friedrich's throw for the out.
"That's a very impactful play on the game," Green said. "And it's my job to fight on behalf of my players. I recognize it's a difficult call, there's a lot spinning. … I'm just staring at the baserunner, and in my eye in real time, it very much looked like he interfered with Wil's ability to catch the baseball."
Do not touch: With one on and one out in the fourth, Yangervis Solarte sent a fly ball down the left-field line toward the stands, where Orioles left fielder Joey Rickard raced toward the wall and slid. Except the ball never reached Rickard. Instead, a spectator in the first row snagged it out of mid-air, prompting third-base umpire Tony Randazzo to call fan interference. Green argued, but replay confirmed the ruling, making it clear that Rickard had a makeable play on the ball before it was interfered with.
"I was just hoping that they would think that a guy sliding into the wall probably isn't going to catch the baseball," Green said. "But it does, in a letter-of-the-law sense, impact his ability to catch the baseball. It removes his opportunity to catch it. I just don't know what the percentage chance is that that ball's caught."
"Some things with Petco are maybe overblown at this point in time. Over the last couple years, it hasn't played as this difficult park to hit in. We've put up six or seven runs in the last couple days ourselves." -- Green, on the high-scoring games at Petco Park
"We're just feeding off each other. When you're going good, it's easier to do. When you're going bad, that's when you're really got to find yourself. Right now, it's easy. It's a little easier to come to the park [to] play, because we're playing well." --Adam Jones, on the O's current hot hitting
Myers' ninth-inning double was his 21st extra-base hit in June, tying him with Greg Vaughn for the most by a Padres hitter in a single month. He finished June hitting .327/.430/.765 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs -- also a June record.
Orioles: Baltimore will head to Seattle for a four-game series with Chris Tillman starting the opener at 10:10 p.m. ET on Thursday. The righty allowed six earned runs over five innings in a no-decision against Tampa Bay in his last start. Still, Tillman (10-1, 3.52 ERA) has been the O's ace this season.
Padres: After an off-day Thursday, the Padres continue their Interleague slate when they welcome the Yankees to town for a three-game set beginning Friday night at 7:40 p.m. PT.Colin Rea will take the hill for the Friars, in search of some efficiency after laboring through five innings in his most recent start.

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