Orioles 10, Padres 3: Davis hits #41, O's score seven runs in eighth and ninth innings

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Miguel Gonzalez held the Padres scoreless until the sixth, when he gave up a game-tying three-run homer, but Chris Davis returned the favor in the eighth, and the O's tacked on another four runs in a solid win.

In the top of the first, Manny Machado drew a one-out walk off of Padres starter Eric Stults, but Adam Jones hit a sharp grounder to third for an inning-ending double play. Miguel Gonzalez began his night by giving up a leadoff single to Will Venable, who then stole second base. Gonzalez responded by striking out Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley, and after walking Yonder Alonso on four pitches, got Jedd Gyorko to fly out to right.

In the second, Stults impressively struck out the side, but not before J.J. Hardy hit a two-out solo shot down the left field line, giving the O's a 1-0 lead. Things got a bit messy in the bottom of the inning, as Steve Pearce and Manny Machado misplayed a flyball to left into a leadoff double, but Gonzalez got out of the jam with a pair of groundouts and a flyout.

Both teams went down in order in the third, the Padres on three strikeouts. In the fourth, Machado reached base on a throwing error (perhaps a gift from Angel Hernandez), and Adam Jones drove him in on a single up the middle and an errant throw into the Orioles' dugout. Despite making it to third on the play, Jones was stranded, as Stults got a groundout and pair of strikeouts. Gonzalez protected his two-run lead by again retiring all three Padres.

Leading off the fifth, Steve Pearce hit a double down the left-field line, and Brian Roberts followed with a single, moving Pearce to third. Miguel Gonzalez, in just his second MLB plate appearance, laid down a pretty good bunt, which the pitcher slipped while trying to field, loading the bases. Only one run scored, however, on a Manny Machado single to left; Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Chris Davis all made unproductive outs. The score was now 3-0, but this was starting to feel like another day in which missed opportunities would catch up to the O's. Gonzalez, meanwhile, finally allowed another baserunner, when Rene Rivera singled with one out, but a botched bunt and a tapper in front of the plate - and two nice plays by Matt Wieters - ended the inning.

Those missed opportunities would seem more ominous in the sixth, as the O's went down in order. In the bottom of the inning, Miguel Gonzalez walked leadoff batter Chris Denorfia. He then struck out Chase Headley, but gave up a broken-bat single to Yonder Alonso. Next up was Jedd Gyorko, who crushed a three-run home run to center field, tying the game at 3-3. Alexi Amarista followed with a single, and Gonzalez began looking like he might not finish the inning, but the O's caught Amarista stealing on a pitchout, and Gonzalez struck out Ronny Cedeno, preserving the tie.

Both teams were unable to get a baserunner in the seventh, as Eric Stults finished his outing by retiring eight consecutive batters and Francisco Rodriguez struck out two. Leading off the eighth, Manny Machado and Adam Jones hit back-to-back singles against Padre righty Luke Gregerson. With two men on, manager Bud Black did the logical thing and brought in lefty Colt Hynes to face Chris Davis. Thor, however, doesn't care about platoon splits, and smashed Hynes's first pitch for his 41st homer, an Earl Weaver Special to right field.

A three-run lead in the eighth is pretty nice, but the Orioles weren't quite done. Matt Wieters followed Davis's homer by smoking a double to center field, and after J.J. Hardy struck out, Nate McLouth moved him to third with a single. Brian Roberts drove in Wieters with a sacrifice fly, making the score 7-3 Orioles. Ryan Flaherty, pinch-hitting for the pitcher and replacing Roberts in a double switch, struck out, keeping the score there. Buck Showalter went to Troy Patton to start the eighth, and he got two outs, interrupted by a Chase Headley double. Buck then summoned Darren O'Day, who induced a first-pitch flyout to get the O's within three outs of a mini-sweep.

The ninth pushed the score from a solid win to a near-laugher. Nick Markakis led off the ninth with a single, and Adam Jones followed suit after Manny Machado flied out. Chris Davis then drew a walk to load the bases, and Matt Wieters grounded out to first, driving in another run and moving the runners over. J.J. Hardy then stepped up to the plate and drove in two with an opposite-field single. Amusingly, Nate McLouth followed with a walk, giving Darren O'Day an unexpected at-bat that ended with an unsurprising strikeout. O'Day went from the batter's box to the mound and closed out the game by retiring the Padres in order. O's win, 10-3.

With the win, the Orioles finished the season series against the Padres with a 2-2 record, and started out their road trip with a couple of solid wins. Their next stop, after having Thursday off, is in San Francisco, where they'll face the Giants for three games. Hopefully, they'll continue to rack up wins, because the schedule is going to get a lot tougher once they're done facing the NL West.

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