Friday, September 7, 2012
Reynolds, historic power surge lead O's
The Baltimore Orioles hit six home runs against the New York Yankees on Thursday for the first time in franchise history (according to the Elias Sports Bureau) to pull into a tie atop the American League East.
Three of those homers came in the eighth inning, breaking a 6-all tie entering the frame. It’s the first time Baltimore hit three home runs in a single inning in the eighth inning or later since June 2008. Baltimore improves to 61-0 this season when leading after seven innings.
The Orioles are 8-3 in their past 11 meetings with the Yankees after losing the first four meetings this season and have totally outplayed the Bombers head to head this season despite the 8-7 record.
Mark Reynolds hit two home runs Thursday, his third multi-HR game against the Yankees this season. Elias tells us that Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, who did it for the Detroit Tigers in 1938, is the only other player with three multi-HR games against the Yankees in the same season.
Reynolds has six home runs against the Yankees the season, matching Mark Trumbo for the most against the Bronx Bombers. Reynolds also had six against them last season, matched then only by Jacoby Ellsbury.
He has eight homers in just the past seven days, the most in the major leagues, and the same number he had in his previous 63 games combined.
Matt Wieters got things started with his first-inning home run, giving him a 15-game hitting streak against the Yankees this season. That's the longest single-season hitting streak against the Yankees in Orioles history.
According to Elias, the last player in franchise history with a single-season streak as long as Wieters' was the Browns' Red Kress in 1931 (15 games).
Wieters is hitting .404 with a home run every 14.3 at-bats against the Yankees this season and just .217 with a home run every 26.1 at-bats against the rest of the league.
Lost in Reynolds' joining David Ortiz and George Brett in baseball lore as official Yankees-killers was the clutch hitting from Adam Jones.
Jones' blast in the eighth inning was his fifth go-ahead HR in the eighth inning or later this season and his 14th tiebreaking homer -- both numbers lead the majors.
His homer came on a pitch that Inside Edge labels “middle-third/inner-third.” Jones misses that pitch only 9 percent of the time, and when an at-bat ends with a middle-third/inner-third pitch, Jones is hitting .360 (84 points better than the MLB average) with seven home runs (tied for fourth most in MLB) in 75 at-bats.
DIVISION LEAD ON THE LINE
The outright division lead is now on the line Friday night at Camden Yards as Phil Hughes goes to the mound, and that could be a bad sign for the visitors. The Yankees are 1-2 against Baltimore when Hughes has started this season. And there's the high probability for more fireworks as no one in baseball has allowed more home runs than Hughes (32) this season.