NEW YORK -- Inside the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, there might have been some relief that the Orioles' vaunted offense finally put together a game to be proud of in their 14-5 drubbing of the Yankees on Tuesday afternoon, but the Orioles didn't put any greater value on this much-needed victory than any other.
“It's a 162-game season,” said center fielder Adam Jones, who hit one of the Orioles' three home runs. “It's kind of just go with the flow and understand that this [season] is long.”
This was, however, no ordinary game. The Orioles' 14-run output was their most since Aug. 10, 2010, Buck Showalter's eighth game as their manager.
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One week into the season, the Orioles had scored three runs or fewer in five of their first seven games. But the players believed they weren't far from breaking through.
That barrage came Tuesday, when the Orioles' 20 hits were their most in a game in just less than three years. The 14 runs was one fewer than they had scored in the previous four games combined.
Orioles batters hit three home runs against the Yankees, matching their total for the first seven games of the season. The Orioles led the major leagues with 212 home runs last season.
All nine Orioles in the starting lineup had hits; eight had at least two hits. Eight of the nine had at least one RBI.
“It was a lot of fun,” said first baseman Chris Davis. “It was a long game, but it was long in a good way. Hitting the ball really well, playing good defense and giving our pitchers a chance to get their feet wet and give some guys some looks. That's what it's all about.”
After losing five of their past six games, the victory — in front of an announced 35,864 — puts the Orioles in position to win their first series of the year with a victory in today's finale.
“You trust your guys and their track record,” Showalter said. “These are the best pitchers in the world, and you try to keep that in mind. You don't just go up there and say, ‘I did this last year.' Nobody cares. [Wednesday] will be another challenge. ... Every day you've got to live in the moment and not live in the past or try to get too far in the future, and it's hard to do because it's such a long season.”
The Orioles received power from the top part of the lineup, getting a trio of two-run homers from Jones, designated hitter Delmon Young and catcher Matt Wieters, but the much-maligned 7-8-9 hitters — Steve Lombardozzi Jr., Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop — did their part with a combined 8-for-15 with four runs scored.
“The guys at the top of the order do it enough that it's nice when the bottom half is contributing and putting some runs across,” said Flaherty, who entered the game with just one hit in 21 at-bats this season but tied a career-high Tuesday with three hits.
The Orioles (3-5) jumped on the Yankees quickly when Jones hit his first homer of the season, a two-run shot off starter Ivan Nova that gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead just four batters into the game.
Wieters, one of the few Orioles to start the season strong at the plate, hit a two-run blast off Yankees left-handed reliever Vidal Nuno in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
Ryan Flaherty, Young and Lombardozzi had three hits apiece, helping to chase Nova from the game after just 3 2/3 innings.
Young, who was hitting in the No. 2 spot in the batting order for the first time in nearly six years, hit a two-run homer to left field in the top of the sixth off Nuno to put the game out of reach.
“Wherever you are hitting the lineup the pitcher isn't looking at that,” Young said. “They are trying to get you out. I'm not like, ‘I'm in the two-hole, I need to do this, this and that.' I'm still trying to hit the bejesus out of the ball.
Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who had just one win in his final 11 starts last season, earned his first victory of 2014 after allowing four runs and nine hits over five innings, with three strikeouts and no walks.
Despite earning his first win since last Aug. 21, Chen said he struggled to capitalize on having an early lead.
“It should have helped, but maybe today I was trying too hard,” Chen said. “I was trying to do my job well. So maybe with that big a lead, it really didn't help me because today I was trying to really do a perfect job. I don't know. It should [help] but it did not today.”
The Orioles took a 7-1 lead after a three-run fourth inning that saw Baltimore bat through the order. They loaded the bases with three straight one-out singles by the No. 7 through No. 9 hitters. Following Nick Markakis' sacrifice fly, Young and Davis had back-to-back run-scoring singles.
Young, hit his first homer with the Orioles in a four-run sixth, crushing a 1-1 curveball into the left-field stands.
The Orioles bullpen allowed one run over four relief innings, including 2 1/3 scoreless innings from right-hander Josh Stinson. Darren O'Day tossed a scoreless ninth.
In the midst of a 16-game stretch against AL East opponents, there was little time for celebration after the game.
“It wasn't about breaking out, man,” Jones said. “It was about continuously doing what we do, swing the bats. Some days you get ‘em, some days you don't. Today we got ‘em. Now, it's over with. Tomorrow we have to come out and do the same exact thing with the same approach.”