Orioles hit six home runs in Mother’s Day rout of A’s
— Buck Showalter wanted to put on a show for the 43,690 fans that decided to spend a beautiful Mother’s Day afternoon at Camden Yards.
The Baltimore Orioles obliged their manager Sunday, hitting a season-high six home runs in an 11-3 rout of the Oakland A’s.
“With all the weather and all the stuff that we’ve played in through this season so far, you couldn’t have dialed up a more perfect day to play baseball,” Showalter said. “You just really want to play a good game, an entertaining game that you win on a day like today because you don’t get many opportunities where you got a full house and the weather’s
perfect. It’s kind of a Baltimore coming out after the weather we’ve had in April … It kind of reminds us why we do what we do, and a lot of people work 9-5 out in the stands, do what they do so they can come out and enjoy a day like today. That’s what I took out of it.”
April’s American League MVP Manny Machado provided his fairshare of the entertainment with a pair of home runs, including an eighth-inning grand slam that opened the flood gates to bring the score to its 11-3 final. It marked Machado’s third career grand slam and second of the season, while the six runs he batted in were a career best.
“It’s a great day. I was able to out there and get some good swings and hit a couple of homers,” he said. “It’s an overall great game. I just got to take it in and then put it behind me, come out tomorrow—new pitcher, new at bat, new atmosphere—and hopefully get another win and put some more good swings on some balls.”
Machado’s big day at the plate came to the delight of starting pitcher Chris Tillman, who overcame a shaky start to throw six and onethird innings.
“It’s always fun to watch Manny,” Tillman said. “Always has been, always will be. As long as he’s here and we’re on the same team, it’s going to be fun to watch. When I’m on the other side—if I’m on the other side, if he’s on the other side—it won’t be fun. He’s a good player, he’s got a bright future. He comes everyday ready to play and as a starting pitcher, you appreciate that.”
Tillman gave up six hits and allowed three runs. All three runs and four of the hits came in the top of the first inning.
The right-hander settled down to allow just a pair of hits over five and one-third scoreless innings. He struck out seven batters on the afternoon.
“He always does it to me: He gets to 100 [pitches] in his best inning,” Showalter said.
Tillman struck out the side in order in the top of the fifth inning on a total of 10 pitches. After walking the first batter in the sixth inning and striking out the second, he was relieved by Brad Brach. Tillman has thrown at least 100 pitches in four-straight outings.
“They got some key hits and he got out of [the first] inning with just three runs,” Machado said. “Then we went back on that mound and dominated. That’s what he needs to keep doing, that’s what he’s been doing.”
Baltimore (18-12) kept the fourth run of the opening inning off the board with an impressive relay from left fielder Joey Rickard, to Machado at shortstop, to catcher Matt Wieters, who tagged Oakland’s Danny Valencia out at home plate to escape the inning.
The Orioles quickly chipped away at their threerun deficit. Rickard earned a lead-off walk and Machado followed with his first home run of the afternoon.
“It got us right back in the game. They picked me up huge,” Tillman said. “By the third inning we were back on top. I was happier to see the defense. That defense was pretty special all the way around. The whole game, they hit a lot of hard-hit balls off of me that we made a lot of really good plays on.”
Designated hitter Pedro Alvarez and second baseman Jonathan Schoop led the second inning with back-to-back homers to put the Orioles ahead for good. Alvarez smacked his lead- off shot over the scoreboard in right field and out of Oriole Park. It became the first home run of the season to land on Eutaw Street this season and the 83rd to do so since the stadium opened in 1992.
“That was a big-ol’ boy home run, that one,” Showalter said.
Right fielder Mark Trumbo, who was a double shy of batting for the cycle, hit a two-run blast in the third that scored Chris Davis. Baltimore put two runs on the board in each of the first three innings.
Rickard joined the home run party the following inning with a solo shot to left for the Orioles’ seventh run and last until Machado’s grand slam in the eighth frame.
The six home runs allowed were the most by the A’s since April of 1994.
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig