SAN DIEGO: There was Melvin Upton Jr.’s first-inning home run, one of the longest of the baseball season. There was Upton’s second-inning catch, one of the highlights of the year. And there was Wil Myers’ seventh-inning blast, that setting a new club record.
In between, there was a lopsided baseball game.
The visitors routed the Padres, 11-7, Tuesday night (Wednesday in Manila) at Petco Park. Right-hander Erik Johnson, making his fourth start for the San Diego Padres, surrendered his eighth and ninth home runs allowed in a Padres uniform. Were it not for Upton’s catch, it would have been 10. After his exit, the Orioles hung a seven-spot on veteran reliever Carlos Villanueva.
The Padres fell to 33-45, including 18-23 at home. They yielded double-digit runs in their downtown venue for the seventh time this season. All seven times, they have lost.
Johnson, the 26-year-old right-hander the Padres acquired in the James Shields trade, continued to struggle with a lifeless fastball. Morse High’s own Adam Jones boldly announced his return to San Diego, leading off the game with an opposite-field home run.
Upton led off the bottom of the first with a game-tying clout, a 465-foot drive off the batter’s eye beyond center field. In the top of the second, he produced an even greater highlight in the same vicinity, leaping above the centerfield wall to rob J.J. Hardy of a two-run homer. After he landed on the warning track, Upton gunned a throw to first base, doubling off Mark Trumbo.
The Orioles untied the game in the fourth. Hyun-soo Kim swatted a two-run homer off Johnson in the fifth.
The pitcher finished with five innings of four-run ball. While the Padres could soon go to a six-man rotation, it is worth noting that Johnson and right-hander Andrew Cashner are now on the same schedule. Cashner, recently sidelined by a neck strain, threw three scoreless innings Tuesday night in a rehab start.
In the sixth, Villanueva was the victim of a parade. The Orioles took an 11-1 lead on six hits, including a home run, and a walk.
In the bottom of the seventh, Padres first baseman Myers drilled a three-run shot to right. That gave him his 11th home run of June. The club’s previous record for home runs this month was jointly held by Myers and Greg Vaughn.
As well, the home run was Myers’ 20th extra-base hit of the month. He joined Vaughn and Ryan Klesko as the only Padres to record 20 extra base hits in a calendar month.
In the bottom of the ninth, Adam Rosales’ two-out, two-run double prolonged the game by a few moments. Yangervis Solarte’s ensuing double kept the Padres alive a beat longer. Poway’s Alex Dickerson, newly recalled from Triple-A, worked a seven-pitch at-bat but struck out looking.
The final scoreboard totals included 17 hits for the Orioles, eight for the Padres.