BALTIMORE: For one night only, the Orioles’ home runs flying out of Camden Yards at a near-record rate weren’t the biggest blows dealt.
That honor went to shortstop Manny Machado and Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, who brawled after the latter plunked the former with a pitch in the fourth inning of the Orioles’ eventual 9-1 route of Kansas City before a lively midweek crowd of 28,110.
Both were ejected at the time of the scrum, which saw the benches and bullpens empty. The Orioles led 5-1 at the time, well on their way to securing a series win over the defending World Series champions, who have lost five straight. The Orioles have won four in a row, and improved to 6-3 on their current homestand.
In the first inning, the Orioles did all of their damage keeping the ball in the park. Five of the first six batters they sent up reached on hits, and four scored. Third baseman Ryan Flaherty’s first home run of the season made it 5-0 after two innings.
Immediately after the fight, right fielder Mark Trumbo and first baseman Chris Davis hit back-to-back home runs off reliever Chien-Ming Wang, and center fielder Adam Jones homered in the sixth to seal it.
The Orioles moved into the major league lead with 88 home runs on the season. Trumbo drove in four runs and extended his major-league lead with his 20th home run.
Despite allowing 12 baserunners over five innings, Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez yielded just one run, the fewest he’s allowed since his first start of the season on April 7.
Jimenez, who entered the night having allowed five or more runs in three of his last four starts, allowed nine hits and walked three, but still earned his first win since May 7.
He performed his best escape act in the fourth, when Jimenez walked in a run after loading the bases on three straight singles to open the inning. After that, he faced the bases loaded with no outs with the top of the Kansas City batting order looming.
But Jimenez retired the next three hitters to end the threat, getting Alcides Escobar to line out to first, then striking out Whit Merrifield and inducing a fly out to center from Lorenzo Cain.
The Royals put at least two baserunners on base in each of Jimenez’s five innings, but stranded five baserunners in scoring position.
The Royals were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position on the night.