Saturday, August 09, 2014
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Orioles belt six homers in rout of Cardinals

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[August 09, 2014]  BALTIMORE -- On the night that the Baltimore Orioles brought some of their greatest players back to the park and celebrated their 60th anniversary, it seems almost fitting that they used three-run homers to score another victory.

J.J Hardy homered twice, including a three-run shot, while Manny Machado also hit a three-run blast as the Orioles banged out a season-high six homers in a 12-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at Camden Yards.

When the late Earl Weaver managed the Orioles during their glory days, he loved three-run homers. He didn't enjoy playing small ball or manufacturing runs but instead lived for power. That's what the Orioles used in this game as the team celebrated their 60th anniversary season and were able to get a good look at their past and show them what might be coming in the future.

"I've still got chills," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We all just came up the runway, and all the Hall of Famers are greeting our guys as they come off the field. That was pretty cool."

Hardy hadn't homered since July 19, and posted his first multi-homer game this season with his three-run and solo shots.

He finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs, but the shortstop said he's not going up there looking to homer every time.

"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard," Hardy said. "You can't try and hit home runs. It's just not going to work."

Machado's early three-run homer gave the Orioles a four-run lead in the second inning and put Baltimore in command.

The young third baseman was impressed by all of the famous Orioles of years past who were at the park. Before the game, he got to talk to Frank Robinson, who gave him some advice - basically, just keep doing your thing -- and enjoyed seeing everyone.

"Having these guys around today -- it helps a lot, especially younger players," Machado said. "It helps out the team just to pick their brains. They're Hall of Famers, they're the best of the best, so if you can pick their brain and see how they were successful in their careers and seasons it's (good)."

Second baseman Ryan Flaherty (two-run homer), first baseman Chris Davis (solo homer) and center fielder Adam Jones (solo homer) added blasts for the Orioles (66-49). Jones came out after he got hit on the knee in the sixth, but Showalter said he's fine.

The Orioles' previous season high for home runs came July 7 when they hit four against Washington.

"This is baseball," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "This happens. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you do. (It was) one of those nights."

The home runs gave Baltimore starter Chris Tillman (9-5) plenty of support. He gave up just two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings and rarely found any trouble.

He said it was nice to see all those homers from his teammates give him a big lead, especially on a night when so much seemed to be working.

"I felt good," Tillman said. "I think it was one of those nights where everything kind of clicked for me, and I was able to execute most of my pitches."

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The only offense the Cardinals (61-53) could muster against Tillman came on catcher A.J. Pierzynski's two-run homer in the seventh inning, a shot that ended the right-hander's night.

The Orioles scored in five straight innings -- the second through sixth -- and ended up with 15 hits overall. It also was just the second time in club history that they hit more than one homer off three pitchers in the same game -- St. Louis starter Justin Masterson and left-handers Nick Greenwood and Sam Freeman each gave up two.

This victory gives the Orioles a five-game lead over the Yankees, who beat Cleveland, and a six-game edge over the Blue Jays. Detroit rallied for a 5-4 victory over Toronto in their matchup.

Masterson (1-1) didn't fare nearly as well as Tillman in his second start with the Cardinals since they acquired him last month from the Indians. He allowed five runs and seven hits -- including two homers -- in two innings plus four batters. The right-hander also hit two batters.

Baltimore took charge in the second as catcher Nick Hundley's one-out RBI single put the Orioles up 1-0. Later in the inning, Machado jumped on Masterson's first pitch and belted a three-run homer to make it 4-0.

Hardy started the third inning with a solo homer off Masterson. The shortstop came through again in the fourth, lining a three-run homer to left off Greenwood to give the Orioles an 8-0 lead.

Jones added a solo homer off Greenwood in the fifth to make it 9-0. Davis and Flaherty both homered in the sixth for the final three runs.

NOTES: The Orioles are wearing their 1954 uniforms as they're celebrating the franchise's 60th anniversary on Friday. Several Oriole greats from the team's glory years came to a luncheon earlier in the day and talked with the media. ... C Caleb Joseph left during the team's pregame workout due to a family medical issue. ... The Cardinals placed RHP Jason Motte on the 15-day disabled list on Friday due to a lower back sprain. He started the season on the DL while recovering from Tommy John surgery. ... LHP Nick Greenwood was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Motte's spot. This is his second stint with the team this season, having pitched with the Cardinals from June 15-July 22.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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