The Orioles scored at least one run in five straight innings and right-handerUbaldo Jimenez notched a quality start as the O's earned a 7-2 win over the Padres on Wednesday night to split the two-game series. The victory ends a two-game skid for the Orioles and puts them two games ahead of the second-place Red Sox atop the American League East.
O's right fielder Mark Trumbo launched his first homer since June 7 to stay tied with White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier and Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado for the home run lead in the Majors (21). The blast was part of a 3-for-4 night that saw him fall a triple short of the cycle with two runs scored.
Jimenez, making his first start since being demoted to the bullpen, lowered his season ERA from 7.34 to 6.97. The victory is just his second since May 7.
"It felt really good finally being able to give the team a chance to win, to be able to pitch six innings, it felt good," Jimenez said. "That's probably the most exciting thing about baseball. They give you a chance to start and it's a new game."
Padres right fielder Matt Kemp continued his hot June with San Diego's two RBIs, both scoring center fielder Travis Jankowski. Right-hander Erik Johnson lost his third straight start for the Padres since he was acquired June 4 from the White Sox. He allowed six runs on nine hits in four-plus innings.
"You catch the middle of the plate to any of these plus-power big league hitters with 88-91 [mph], you're typically going to pay the price," said Padres manager Andy Green. "There's stuff there that plays [for Johnson]. It just has to be a greater reliance on the offspeed in hitters' counts."
Said Johnson: "A lot of those one-run innings could've been quickly zeros that I throw up on the scoreboard. It definitely feels as though I'm on the cusp of breaking through and getting to the other side."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Quality spot start: O's manager Buck Showalter didn't name a starter for Wednesday until less than 20 hours before first pitch, selecting Jimenez essentially by process of elimination. The righty struck out seven, including the final four batters he faced, while allowing two runs over six innings. In his previous two appearances entering Wednesday, he'd surrendered 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings.
"We didn't have many options down there tonight, so he delivered what we needed," Showalter said. "It was good to see him go home and feel good about himself." More >
That's not fair:Melvin Upton Jr. was sure he'd given the Padres a fifth-inning lead with his towering blast into the left-field seats -- so sure in fact that he high-fived first-base coach Tarrik Brock and put his head down to start circling the bases. But third-base umpire Chris Conroy ruled it foul, and after review, his call would stand. The ball's flight path was higher than the top of the foul pole -- making it almost impossible to discern the point at which the ball passed the fence.
"I thought it was fair," Upton said. "Still think it's fair. I looked at it more than once on video, and I think it's fair. But apparently they didn't have enough video evidence to overturn it."More >
Fifth-inning insurance: After nearly surrendering the lead in the top of the fifth on Upton's bid for a homer, the O's added some insurance runs. Third baseman Ryan Flaherty, filling in for the suspended Manny Machado, led off the bottom of the inning with a homer to right-center, his third of the season. The Orioles' next four batters all reached with two more runs coming around to score in the inning. Instead of trailing, 4-3, entering the bottom of the frame, they ended up taking a 6-2 edge into the sixth.
QUOTABLE "We play like we did last night, we can beat anybody in baseball. We play like we did tonight, anybody can beat us" -- Green on the Padres' two games in Baltimore
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS The Orioles' victory is their 1,000th win at Camden Yards since the ballpark opened in 1992. They are 1,000-959 all-time at Oriole Park.
AFTER REVIEW Upton's blast was ruled foul, and after a crew-chief review, the call would stand. On the next pitch, Upton struck out swinging and hurled his helmet and bat toward the dugout in frustration, and the Orioles broke the game open with three runs later in the frame.
O's second baseman Jonathan Schoop scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, but Showalter challenged that Carlos Villanueva's pitch hit Chris Davis. After a review, the call was overturned and Davis was credited with an RBI and awarded first base.
FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM After throwing a side session Tuesday, reliever Vance Worley (groin strain) is scheduled to throw another Thursday. If that goes well, Showalter said he will pitch at Double-A Bowie on Saturday. Reliever Darren O'Day (strained right hamstring) is scheduled to throw off a half mound Thursday. Catcher Caleb Joseph (testicular injury) will catch at Class A Advanced Frederick on June 27, the first time behind the plate since suffering his injury.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: Looking to bounce back from his first poor start in the past month, Christian Friedrich gets the ball for the Padres as they open a four-game set against the Reds in Cincinnati. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. PT, with John Lamb taking the ball for Cincinnati.
Orioles: After a much-needed day off Thursday, the O's host the Rays for a four-game series spanning three days. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 6.26) will get the ball in the series opener Friday in his second start back from the disabled list.