The Padres came to Camden Yards with a last-place record but with an offense that was showing signs of life this month. The Orioles got a good look at it tonight.
The Padres scored four runs in the top of the seventh against the O’s bullpen to rally past the Orioles 10-7 at Camden Yards. The O’s have lost back-to-back games to fall to 40-30. They held a three-run lead in each of those games. But with the Red Sox also losing, the O’s maintain a one-game lead atop the American League East.
On the strength of two Pedro Alvarez homers the O’s took a 6-3 lead to the seventh. Mychal Givens came on to replace starter Tyler Wilson. But Givens could not get the job done, allowing a double, single, single and two walks. San Diego made it 6-4 on Mark Trumbo’s error in right and 6-5 when Givens walked in a run. Oliver Drake, just called up today, entered with the bases loaded and no outs. Two more runs scored, one on a wild pitch and another on a groundout, and San Diego had a 7-6 lead. The nightmarish half-inning finally was over.
Earlier, the Padres went 8-for-19 against Wilson in the first four innings and led 3-2 after the top of the fourth on a Derek Norris solo homer and a Wil Myers RBI single. The Padres went ahead 1-0 in the first before the O’s took a 2-1 lead in the third on Adam Jones’ RBI double and a Hyun Soo Kim RBI single.
The O’s faced San Diego right-hander Luis Perdomo, a Rule 5 selection last December. The first time through the order they went 0-8 with a walk. The second time through they went 6-for-9.
In the O’s fourth, Jonathan Schoop singled to start the inning and scored on an Alvarez two-run shot to left field. Alvarez’s eighth homer came on a 1-2 pitch and went 387 feet for the 4-3 lead. An inning later, Alvarez homered again. This time Schoop walked with two outs and scored on a 374 shot to right on a very high fly ball that eventually settled into the stands for a 6-3 O’s edge.
For Alvarez, it is his first multi-homer game of the season and the 11th of his career. He has now hit four homers over his last seven games and has six in 14 games this month.
The Orioles were homerless last night, ending a run of 10 straight games with a homer. Perhaps they started another streak tonight. They’ve hit 40 home runs in the last 19 games.
The O’s loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, down 7-6. But San Diego closer Fernando Rodney came on and got Jones to ground out. Rodney recorded the save, his 15th in 15 chances. Alvarez drove in a run against him in the ninth on an infield RBI hit for a five-RBI night. It was the first earned run off Rodney all year.
After the O’s let that chance get away in the eighth, San Diego added three runs in the ninth on two singles off Zach Britton and a Ryan Flaherty error at third base. Two of the runs were unearned and one scored after Odrisamer Despaigne replaced Britton and allowed a run-scoring single to Matt Kemp. Kemp went 4-for-6 with two RBIs. Britton’s streak of consecutive scoreless outings ends at 17.
Wilson went six innings, allowing nine hits but just three runs. But the blown lead denied him his first-ever win at Camden Yards. San Diego left eight men on and went 2-for-10 against him with runners in scoring position. Wilson’s night also included a four-pitch second inning and seven-pitch sixth.
San Diego brought a 29-42 record to Camden Yards. But they were 9-9 in June, averaging 5.4 runs per game and their .285 batting average this month led the National League and was fourth-best in the majors. Tonight, they produced 15 hits in the win. The brief two-game series concludes Wednesday night.