Not only does Nelson Cruz continue to hit home runs, he has developed a fondness for driving the ball to right-center field.
That was the landing spot again tonight in the top of the second inning at Miller Park, as his 18th home run tied the game 1-1.
Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo threw two 91 mph fastballs to Cruz, the second one traveling much farther than he wanted.
Cruz leads the majors in home runs and ranks second in RBIs with 47, two behind the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton. Cruz also leads the majors with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs on the road.
Check out his first home run of the game in the video below:
Cruz extended his hitting streak to nine games, going 14-for-30 with three doubles, six homers, 10 RBIs and 12 runs scored.
Orioles starter Bud Norris walked two batters in the bottom of the first and gave up an RBI single to Carlos Gomez. He threw 26 pitches.
According to a team official, Santana will make his last start in Sarasota on Monday in an attempt to reach six innings or approximately 85 pitches. Santana threw 76 pitches in 4 1/3 innings yesterday, allowing two runs and six hits, walking none and striking out eight.
Santana’s fastball was clocked at 86-88 mph, his changeup at 72-78 mph and his slider at 77-81 mph.
The rest of the plan calls for Santana to join Triple-A Norfolk on June 8 and start at Durham, and to join Double-A Bowie on June 13 for a home game against Harrisburg.
Staying on a five-day schedule, Santana could pitch for the Orioles as early as June 18. They would most likely need to create a spot in their rotation.
All of this is contingent, of course, on Santana pushing back the opt-out date on his contract. He’s expected to do it.
Manager Buck Showalter confirmed Santana’s schedule to reporters in Milwaukee.
Also, Dylan Bundy is slated to work three innings Thursday in extended spring training. He worked two innings in his most recent outing.
Update: The Brewers lead 4-1 in the fourth inning.
Norris has allowed four runs and three hits in three innings, with three walks, one strikeout and a hit batter. He’s already thrown 66 pitches.
Norris has surrendered four earned runs in three of his last four starts.
Update II: Cruz has his second multi-homer game of the season and the 12th of his career.
Cruz drove a slider over the center field fence with two outs in the sixth to reduce Milwaukee’s lead to 4-2. He now leads the majors with 19 homers and ranks second in RBIs with 48.
Cruz also hit two home runs on April 23 against the Blue Jays.
Such a bargain at $8 million.
Enjoy home run No. 2 from this game below:
Update III: Nick Markakis doubled in the top of the seventh and scored on Manny Machado’s single to reduce the Brewers’ lead to 4-3.
Norris blanked Milwaukee in the fourth through sixth innings to keep the Orioles in the game. He’s gone at least six innings in each of his last four starts.
Update IV: The Brewers broke open the game in the eighth by scoring four runs, the last three on Khris Davis’ home run off Brian Matusz.
Final score: Brewers 8, Orioles 3
Matusz had stranded 16 of 17 inherited runners, but they both scored tonight after he replaced Brad Brach.
The Orioles dropped the last two games of the series and fell to 26-25.
The Orioles have been outscored 106-86 in the first four innings this season. Can’t keep playing from behind.