Kim on record-breaking homer, plus other O’s quotes after loss

SEATTLE - The Orioles broke their tie with Oakland and stand alone as the club hitting the most homers ever in June. But it came in a 5-3 loss to Seattle that ended their seven-game win streak tonight at Safeco Field.

That took some of the shine off the homer Hyun Soo Kim hit in the seventh inning. He homered for the second straight game and gave the Orioles the major league mark of 56 homers for the month. They had been tied with the 1996 Oakland A’s for most homers in June with 55.

Kim-Swings-Gray-Sidebar.jpgKim didn’t even know he had hit an historic homer.

“I really had no idea, but when the Seattle Mariners were having a pitching change, the outfielders gathered and Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones told me about it. Then I realized that was the major league record,” Kim said through translator Danny Lee.

“There hasn’t been much of a power game difference. I’m trying to make swings as compactly as possible, trying to go directly instead of around it. I try to have that weight in the back, to make sure to get that force to go forward.”

The Orioles fell behind 4-0 when Seattle scored three in the fifth tonight and knocked starting pitcher Chris Tillman out of the game. Tillman struggled for a third straight start, allowing six hits and four runs over 4 2/3 innings. He took his first loss since April 14, but he has an ERA of 8.59 over his past three starts.

Tillman gave up four runs or more three times in his first 14 starts and now has allowed four or more in three consecutive starts.

“There were a lot of deep counts tonight,” Tillman said of his 112-pitch outing. “I think I made some good pitches, but the pitches in between weren’t very competitive. Just wasn’t able to command my off-speed like I have been. That makes their job easier when you are not commanding the off-speed stuff.

“I never felt like I didn’t have it. It was there, it was close. Just wasn’t able to make some pitches with the off-speed stuff when I needed to.”

Here is a sample of Buck Showalter’s postgame comments:

Showalter on Kim: “He’s been playing well for quite a while now. You can tell he’s comfortable. He’s handled it well, starting with spring training. You kind of give him some here and there, little by little he’s presented himself real well. He’s bringing a lot of good at-bats together, and on-base, I think he’s leading our club in on-base percentage. And he’s played really adequately in the outfield. That’s what I’ve been happy about.”

Showalter on Tillman: “You know, it gets magnified when we’re not scoring any runs. (Taijuan) Walker, I think, has got one of the top 10 ERAs in the league. We knew he was going to be a challenge, and he was on top of his game. We know Chris is capable of better. A lot of deep counts. First inning, he gets a couple outs and the next thing you know, he’s thrown 27 pitches. That kind of set the tone for the night.”

Showalter on the homer record: “I don’t know. Is there some record? I don’t know. You’d have to ask them. Score enough runs to win a ballgame. We’ve got three months down, three to go. we’ve had three winning months. I’m more proud of the fact that we were something like 13-6 in the division.”

The Orioles had scored 43 runs their past four games and 82 in the last 10, but were held to three runs tonight. Manny Machado extended his hitting streak to 10 games and is batting .523 (23-for-44) during the streak. Jones has hit safely in 11 straight at a .396 (19-for-48) clip. Jonathan Schoop’s hitting streak ended at 11 games.

The Orioles (47-31) fall to 16-18 on the road. Boston was idle and moved to within five games of first, while Toronto lost to remain 5 1/2 games back.

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