SAN DIEGO - The tiebreaking solo homer came from an unlikely source: Chris Davis, who had struck out three times today and 14 times while going 0-for-16 on this road trip.
But with one mighty swing in the Baltimore eighth off left-hander Matt Strahm, Davis put the Orioles ahead 6-5. The Orioles went on to win 8-5 over San Diego to complete a winning road trip and a rally from a 4-0 deficit in the fourth inning.
With the comeback win, the Orioles (36-71) completed a 5-4 road trip and finished 12-12 in July. The Orioles today clinched their first non-losing month since August 2017, when they were 17-12. This is their most wins in a single month since then.
The Orioles went 1-2 at Arizona, 3-1 in Anaheim and 1-1 in San Diego. After an off-day tomorrow, they begin a 10-game homestand Thursday versus Toronto.
Davis struck out today in the second, fourth and sixth innings. But his eighth homer broke the 5-5 tie. He hit an 0-1 slider 417 feet to center field. It snapped an 0-for-18 for Davis and was his first homer since July 5. This was his first homer off a lefty since Aug. 24, 2018 off Zack Britton.
After the homer, Richie Martin walked and stole second. He went to third on Jonathan Villar’s infield hit and Villar then stole second. Trey Mancini’s single to center plated both runners for the three-run lead.
Down 5-3, the O’s tied it up in the seventh on a Renato Núñez two-run single to center. It gave him 19 RBIs this month and 63 for the year.
Amazingly, the Padres hit two more first-inning homers today, just like last night. But this was not on the first two pitches and it took eight pitches for San Diego to produce a 2-0 lead.
Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a 2-1 changeup from Tom Eshelman 435 feet for his forrth career leadoff homer and second in less than 24 hours. One out later, Manny Machado homered to left-center, a 399-foot blast for a 2-0 lead on No. 26. With that homer, Machado improved to 7-for-13 against the Orioles with two homers and three RBIs. San Diego added another run in the first on Eric Hosmer’s RBI double to lead 3-0 after one.
Through the first inning, San Diego had hit 16 homers in 28 innings this year off Baltimore pitching. The Padres’ 16 homers against the Orioles sets a major league record for most in a season series of four or fewer games. The previous mark was 15.
The lead grew to 4-0 in the fourth. The Padres loaded the bases on two singles and a walk off Eshelman and Francisco Mejía’s fielder’s choice grounder plated one run.
The O’s got back in the game with three in the Baltimore fourth. Mancini walked and went to second on a Núñez one-out single. A single to left by Jace Peterson scored Mancini and it was 4-1. With the bases loaded and one out, right-hander Dinelson Lamet fanned Davis. But Martin followed with a two-run single to center on an 0-2 pitch. The O’s had pulled within 4-3.
San Diego went ahead 5-3 in the fifth on an unearned run. Mejía’s RBI infield single scored the run. O’s first baseman Davis made a diving stop along the line on the play, but the ball popped out of his glove as he rose to his feet. His toss to pitcher Gabriel Ynoa covering was late. The run was unearned due to an error on Villar.
Eshelman went four innings, allowing seven hits and four runs with one walk and five strikeouts. He falls to 0-3 with an ERA of 6.35 after throwing 63 pitches.
Miguel Castro, who pitched a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts, got the win and is 1-1. Shawn Armstrong got the last six outs for his third save.