A pitcher with an ERA of 9.64 over his previous three starts made a quality start and two different No. 9 hitters homered as Colorado beat the Orioles 6-3 in front of 31,438 at Camden Yards.
It’s going that well for the Orioles, who have now lost four in a row to fall to 65-56. Not the start to the homestand they wanted.
The game did begin well for the Orioles when Nate McLouth homered leading off the last of the first for a 1-0 lead. It was his eighth homer of the year, his second leadoff homer of the season and the 12th in his career.
An Adam Jones RBI single with the bases loaded in the third made it 2-0 Baltimore. It was Jones’ 86th RBI, but Nick Markakis fouled out and Matt Wieters lined out as they left the bases loaded there.
Wei-Yin Chen took a shutout into the fifth, but gave up single runs in the fifth and sixth to tie the game. Then No. 9 hitter Charlie Culberson hit a two-run homer that just made it over the wall in right for a 4-2 lead in the seventh.
Chen entered this start with an ERA of 9.00 in the seventh inning and three homers allowed over the first six innings of his starts. Of Chen’s 34 runs allowed this season, 17 have come in the sixth inning or later.
Colorado put Charlie Blackmon in to replace Culberson and, also batting ninth, he hit a solo homer off Francisco Rodriguez in the top of the eighth. One batter later, Rodriguez left the game alongside trainer Richie Bancells with what was announced as a right groin strain.
Blackmon’s blast became the 73rd in park history to land onto Eutaw Street, was the seventh hit there this year and first-ever by a Rockie. Colorado has now won six of its last seven games, scoring 47 runs in that span.
Some boo birds were heard in the ninth when Todd Helton homered off Jim Johnson to cap the scoring and give Colorado its fourth homer of the night.
Right-hander Juan Nicasio had allowed 15 earned runs in 14 innings over his previous three starts before giving up two runs over six frames to get the win tonight.
It was a rocky night for the Orioles, who fall to 33-26 at home, 9-9 against the National League and 12-13 since the All-Star break.
They’ll host Game 2 of this series and homestand Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.