Jason Hammel picked up his third win. Chris Davis hit his eighth homer with two RBIs, while Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth drove in two runs each tonight as the Orioles beat Oakland 10-2 in the opener of a four-game series.
The win was impressive for a few reasons:
* It started badly for the Orioles, who allowed two unearned runs to fall behind 2-0 in the second inning. That inning saw J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado both commit errors and Adam Jones misplay a fly ball into a double.
The Orioles had gone 64 consecutive innings without an error until the messy bottom of the second.
* It got an 11-game west coast trip off to a good start.
* The Orioles were 3-16 at Oakland over the last five seasons, and they entered this game with a 9-29 record there since July 11, 2003.
* The Orioles scored the game’s last 10 runs and outhit Oakland 15-6.
Hammel went six innings, allowing three hits and just the two unearned runs. The poor defense in the second helped to elevate his pitch count early in the game, and he left after throwing 104 pitches. He did lower his ERA from 4.74 to 3.82 but could not become the first O’s starter this year to pitch seven innings.
This was the fifth time in five starts Hammel went at least six innings, and the 12th time in 22 games an O’s starter has gone that far.
Davis hit a solo homer in the sixth. He hit four homers in the season’s first four games and now has four more in the past 18 games. That is still a 36-homer pace over the last 18 games.
McLouth went 2-for-5 with a double, walk, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Over his last six games, he is 8-for-18 (.444) with eight runs scored, and he has reached base in 15 of his last 25 plate appearances with eight hits and seven walks.
Every Oriole in the starting lineup had at least one hit and six drove in at least one run. The Orioles’ 10 runs tied their season high and their 15 hits set a season high.
With the victory, the Orioles improved to 13-9 and stayed two games behind first-place Boston. They have won six of the last eight games and are 10-5 since beginning the season 3-4.
In Game 2 of the series Friday night, Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 3.38 ERA) pitches against Oakland’s Tommy Milone (3-1, 4.26 ERA).