O’s gain some ground after a homer-happy night

I guess it should have been no big surprise that the Orioles and Mariners combined for seven homers last night as the O’s won 11-8 to take the series opener.

Seattle gets 47 percent of its runs this year via the home run to rank first in the majors. The Orioles are second, scoring 44 percent of their runs with a homer in 2013. Of the game’s 19 runs last night, 11 came off a longball.

Nate McLouth talked about the O’s reliance on homers to produce a lot of their runs.

“I think some of that has to do with the park we play in, a home run-friendly park,” McLouth said. “But what is more important is getting guys on in front of the homers. You saw Thursday night, Bud (Norris) gave up two solo homers and they didn’t hurt much.”

McLouth hit his 95th career homer last night, but it was his first with the bases loaded. He hit the O’s third grand slam of the year in the sixth, snapping an 0-for-12 run this year when he had batted with the bases loaded.

“Yeah, it’s about time,” he said of hitting his first grand slam and joining Chris Davis and Matt Wieters as O’s with bases loaded homers this season.

The Orioles gained ground on both teams ahead of them in the AL East last night and they are now 4 1/2 games back of first-place Boston and 3 1/2 back of second-place Tampa Bay.

McLouth was asked if the O’s need to roll off wins over teams with losing records.

“Yeah, no matter who we are playing. We need to play well, better really than we did the past month and hope these teams in front of us start losing some games,” he said.

Davis not only joined the O’s 40-homer club last night, but he hit the 72nd Eutaw Street homer in Camden Yards history. It was the 29th by an Oriole, the sixth hit there this season and the first this season by Davis. It was his fourth career Eutaw Street blast.

Heading into Thursday’s game, the Orioles had lost six of eight games, scoring 19 total runs. They hit .213 as a team in that stretch and went 6-for-43 (.140) with runners in scoring position.

Over these past two games, the Orioles have plated 17 runs, batting .314 as a team with four homers. They have gone 8-for-14 (.571) the past two games with runners in scoring position.

After going 38-20 in the last two months of 2012, the Orioles have begun this August 2-0 and they look to stay in the win column tonight at 7:05 at Camden Yards.

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