Beltway Bashers match franchise HR mark

September, 27, 2012
9/27/12
12:07
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AP Photo, Getty ImagesManny Machado and Jim Thome combined to hit three of the Orioles' seven homers on Wednesday.
The Baltimore Orioles kept pace with the victorious New York Yankees in the AL East race by doing what the team from the Bronx is known for – launching baseballs over fences.

The Orioles matched a franchise record with seven home runs in a 12-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night. Never before had Baltimore fans seen seven home runs hit by their team in a home game.

All 12 of the Orioles runs were scored via homers, the first time they have done that in a game with a dozen runs since May 28, 1996 in a 12-8 win over the Mariners, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Forty-seven percent of their runs have come via the longball this season, a rate that is second in the majors behind the Yankees.

Both the old and the young went deep for the O’s. Jim Thome (42 years, 30 days old) tied the game in the fifth inning and Manny Machado (20, 82) gave the O’s the lead.

Their age disparity is the second-largest for any two teammates homering in the same inning, according to Elias. On June 14, 2005, Julio Franco (46 years, 295 days) and Kelly Johnson (23 years, 112 days) both homered for the Atlanta Braves against the Texas Rangers.

Thome became the oldest player ever to hit a home run for the Orioles franchise. He is 11 days older than Tim Raines, who hit his last home run for Baltimore on October 5, 2001.

His home run came on a chest-high 79-MPH changeup that he drilled over the right-field wall. He is now slugging .636 on pitches in the upper-third of the strike zone or above, the 10th-best mark in the majors among players with at least 150 plate appearances this season.

Machado homered again in the eighth inning for his second career multi-homer game. The last American Leaguer with at least two multi-homer games at the age of 20 or younger was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989.

Both of his home runs went to left field, continuing his pull-happy approach this season. Five of his six career homers have gone to left field, and his .733 slugging percentage on pulled balls is nearly 300 points better than his mark to center and right field (.446).

Chris Davis was the other Oriole to hit multiple homers. The Blue Jays threw Davis nine sliders, which seemed like a smart strategy going into the game, as he was hitting just .176 in at-bats ending in sliders this year. That includes a 1-for-17 stretch in his previous 45 games.

Davis clubbed two sliders over the fence Wednesday, a career first for him against that pitch.

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