SAN DIEGO - When the San Diego Padres swept a two-game series in Baltimore late last month, they hit nine homers in those games. Tonight, they hit two on the first two pitches.
That is how the night started for right-hander David Hess, recalled today from Triple-A to make this start. Hess allowed four homers in all as the Padres beat the Orioles 8-1. It was the opener of a two-game series at Petco Park.
The Orioles (35-71) fall to 4-4 with one game to go on this road three-city trip. They have lost back-to-back games since winning four of five and seven of 10.
Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a 400-foot homer on the game’s first pitch, and Franmil Reyes blasted one 433 feet on the next pitch. Both came on 94 mph fastballs from Hess.
It was the first time in San Diego Padres history that they went back-to-back on the game’s first two pitches. The only previous time they hit two homers to start a game on any count came when they hit three in a row against the Giants on April 13, 1987. Pitch-tracking of home run counts only dates to 1988, and since then the Orioles had never allowed two homers on the game’s first two pitches.
After the home runs, Hess retired the next nine batters, throwing six strikeouts. It looked like he was settling in. But pitching on just three days’ rest since his last start at Triple-A, he gave up two more homers as San Diego took a 5-1 lead in the fourth.
Eric Hosmer hit a two-run shot after Manny Machado led off the fourth with a triple. Two outs later, Luis Urías hit his first homer of the season to make it a 5-1 lead.
Over 4 2/3 innings, Hess allowed six hits and five runs with no walks and seven strikeouts. He falls to 1-10 with a 7.31 ERA after a 66-pitch outing. The four homers he gave up tied a season high and he has allowed 25 in 72 2/3 on the year for an average of 3.1 per nine innings.
O’s pitching allowed four or more homers in a game for the 17th time to tie the 1999 Colorado Rockies for most such games in a season. San Diego has hit 14 homers in going 3-0 against the Orioles. Baltimore pitchers have now allowed 205 on the year. The major league record is 258, allowed by the 2016 Cincinnati Reds. The O’s would allow a fifth homer - Hosmer again - later in the game, marking the 13th time they have yielded five in one game. That extended the O’s MLB record for allowing five homers in a game in one season.
Down 2-0, the O’s got one back in the third. With two outs, Jonathan Villar singled, Trey Mancini walked and Anthony Santander drove in Villar with a single. It was his 31st RBI and 15th in his past 12 games.
Right-hander Dillon Tate made his big league debut in the last of the seventh, and the first three batters he faced went hit-by-pitch, single and three-run homer to make it 8-1. Tate would get the next three batters out, two on strikes, in a 22-pitch inning and then threw a scoreless eighth. Hosmer drove in five runs and produced his sixth career multi-homer game and first since June 10, 2016.
O’s outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., who left Saturday’s game in Anaheim with a left calf injury, re-aggravated that injury and left tonight’s game. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, singled to right but limped down the first-base line. Richie Martin ran for him.
So the O’s get blown out in the series opener here by the Padres (50-56), who were 4-11 since the All-Star Game and had lost nine of its previous 10 home games as this night began.
Manager Brandon Hyde on Hess: “Obviously, they ambushed him the first couple of pitches, a couple of home runs, and I thought he did a nice job for a couple of innings after that. He had seven strikeouts. He had a nice slider going, but the fastball got hit a little bit. The good news is I thought his slider was better tonight than what he left with. It’s about fastball command.”
Hyde on Tate’s big league debut: “I don’t know if he was nervous or what. Make your major league debut and you hit the first guy. Hung a slider to Hosmer there. We didn’t help him out with the ground ball before the homer. After that, I thought he had really good stuff. I thought he had some sink to his fastball, threw some nice sliders, and threw a nice second inning.”
Hess on the two first-pitch homers: “Really just trying to come out there and attack early and establish a presence of aggression. That kind of bit me in the butt a little bit. After that, just really tried to settle in and get guys out and make pitches. Get guys out as best as possible.”
Did Hess think ‘Here we go again’ in allowing four homers?: “No, I think that you can go down that road, but I try not to do that, regardless of what’s going on. Just trying to focus on what’s next and make the adjustments that are necessary and try to make better pitches, going forward from then on.”
Catcher Chance Sisco on the start of the game for Hess: “He bounced back really well. We knew going into the game that Tatis swings a lot at the first pitch, but just tried to execute a pitch. I mean, like I said, he swung at the first pitch and put good wood on it. Same thing with Reyes, he came up aggressive. Nothing you can really do about that. Just do what David did and bounce back. Make good pitches. Execute to the next batters.”