Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Padres score in bunches to defeat Orioles

San Diego posted double-digit hits, including four from red-hot Matt Kemp, to defeat the first-place Orioles, 10-7, in Tuesday's series-opening win at Camden Yards.
Padres closer Fernando Rodney, who had not allowed an earned run all season, came in to retire Adam Jones with the bases loaded in the eighth. Rodney allowed a two-out RBI single to Pedro Alvarez -- who drove in five --in the ninth, but he picked up his 15th save.
San Diego has now won three straight, while increasing its June batting average to .290, the best in the National League. Baltimore, which has back-to-back losses, remains atop the American League East as all four other teams also lost on Tuesday.
"From beginning of June to now, we've had consistently good at-bats all the way up and down the order," Padres skipper Andy Green said. "We got production from everybody today. You're going to beat a good offensive club, you've got to put some runs on the board."
Alvarez homered twice for Baltimore, his first multihomer night of the year, while O's starterTyler Wilson went six innings and allowed three runs on nine hits.
"I felt like today was a battle for everybody," Wilson said. "Tough travel night last night and a tough stretch of 30 days. I thought everyone battled, like always. I thought Frankie [Pena] did a great job behind the plate like always. It was a tough loss, but we had our opportunities and we were in there the whole game."
Derek Norris homered and drove in two runs, while San Diego starter Luis Perdomoallowed six runs on seven hits and a career-high eight strikeouts.
No record for Rodney:
 Rodney needed a scoreless ninth to pass Padres legend Randy Jones for the most consecutive innings without an earned run to start the season. He came within one out, and he appeared to have the record when Alvarez sent a routine chopper up the first-base line. But the ball bounced off the bag for a run-scoring single, and Rodney's streak came to an end at 25 2/3 innings. Jones tossed 26 frames without an earned run to start the 1975 campaign.
Green said the club will consider appealing that ruling, asking for the play to be changed to an error on first baseman Wil Myers -- who would be just fine with that.
"I'll take an error, if he could not have an earned run -- for sure, I'll take that," Myers said. "That was just a play that was a fluke play, and there's nothing really you can do about it."More >
Givens struggles: The righty loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning and was charged with all four runs. Mychal Givens hasn't been particularly sharp lately for an O's bullpen without setup man Darren O'Day.
 "Early on, he's being a little reactive instead of proactive with his outings some," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Givens. "It's one of those things that young pitchers learn from. Try to keep in mind he hasn't been pitching more than two or three years. It's a learning experience for him. We've got a lot of guys learning the job without much Major League experience, with Tyler [Wilson] being one of them." More >
Alvarez's big night: Alvarez led the offense and collected a season high in RBIs. He's batting .311 with two doubles, seven homers, 11 runs scored and 15 RBIs over his past 18 games.
"I'm a big guy of just trusting the process, putting in the work and coming to the field every day, and you have a routine, you have a plan, and just trust in that with time and repetitions that everything will fall into place like it's supposed to," he said. "That's kind of what I have always held onto."
Kemp crushes: Kemp continued his torrid June by going 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles, increasing his average to .363 this month. He got the Padres on the board in the first with a bloop single, and he'd later spark the go-ahead rally with a leadoff double in the Padres' four-run seventh and add another RBI single in a three-run ninth. In Green's eyes, Kemp's surge is largely a product of an uptick in plate discipline.
"Matt in the zone is as dangerous as anyone in baseball," Green said. "And he's been in the zone, spraying the ball all over the ballpark and just getting consistently good at-bats and really productive at-bats for us."
Norris' fourth-inning dinger into the first row gave the Padres' catcher four homers this month -- and all four of have been lasers. Each of them has left Norris' bat at a launch angle of 23 degrees or lower. For some perspective, the Padres average launch angle on homers this season is about 28 degrees.
During an eventful top half of the first inning, Padres second baseman Ryan Schimpf took a curveball off his foot and headed toward first base. But home-plate umpire Chris Conroy initially ruled that the ball had simply bounced awkwardly in the dirt. A Padres challenge confirmed that the ball had, indeed, grazed Schimpf's cleat, and the call was overturned, loading the bases. Norris would bounce to second one batter later, ending the threat.
"You know what? People really don't want to hear it. They really don't. It'd be very easy to complain about it, but we do this for seven, eight months for seven days a week and we are all lucky to do it, and no one really wants to hear about it. Having a late night and not sleeping very much, people do it every day of their lives who work 9 to 5." -- Showalter, on his team's rough week
Padres: Erik Johnson remains in search of his first win with the Padres since coming over in the deal that sent James Shields to the White Sox. He'll get the ball Wednesday night in the finale of this two-game set in Baltimore, with first pitch set for 4:05 p.m. PT. No hitter on the Orioles' active roster has ever faced Johnson.
Orioles: The Orioles will turn to Ubaldo Jimenez for Wednesday's start. The righty was removed from the rotation earlier and is 3-7 with a 7.34 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

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