Shut down early, O’s rally to beat Giants 10-2 and take series

Over the first five innings today, the Orioles didn’t come close to scoring a run off San Francisco right-hander Matt Cain. They were held to an infield hit and Cain needed just 61 pitches to get through five.

Who knew they would later explode for 10 runs?

But the third time through the order saw the O’s bats come to life and they beat San Francisco 10-2 to win the series two games to one.

The Orioles are 65-52 on the season. They moved to within 4 1/2 games of first place Boston, which lost and stayed 1 1/2 back of Oakland for the AL’s second wild card berth.

Trailing 2-0, the O’s scored in the sixth on a Brian Roberts triple and Nate McLouth RBI single. They took a 3-2 lead on J.J. Hardy’s two-run homer off Cain in the seventh. It was his 21st of the year.

The O’s blew the game open with a four-run eighth which featured a Nick Markakis RBI single, Adam Jones RBI double, Matt Wieters RBI single and Roberts sac fly. Jones came up with a three-run homer off Barry Zito in the ninth to put the finishing touches on the late offense.

In the first five innings today, the Orioles went 1-for-16 with no runs. In innings six through nine, they went 11-for-22 with two doubles, a triple, two homers and 10 runs.

Jones is now 12-for-21 (.571) on this road trip. During a nine-game batting streak, he is 17-for-36 (.472) with four doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs. With his four RBIs today he now has a new career high with 85.

Bud Norris didn’t get a decision allowing two runs over five innings, but the Orioles are now 3-0 when he has started and his ERA is 2.65 in three O’s starts.

The Orioles today completed an 11-game stretch against clubs with losing records and went 7-4 against Houston, Seattle, San Diego and San Francisco.

The Orioles improved to 32-27 on the road and have won back-to-back road series for the first time since May. They are 4-1 on this road trip which now heads to Arizona for a three-game series beginning Monday night.

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