When Los Angeles Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton pulled Freddy Garcia’s 79 mph splitter onto the flag court beyond right field in the sixth inning Monday night, it was the 90th time an Orioles pitcher gave up a home run this season.
Hamilton’s home run — which tied the game at 2-2, though the Orioles would eventually grab a 4-3 rain-delayed win — was the Angels’ second of the game and further added to the Orioles’ pitching staff’s major league-worst total.
Entering Monday’s game, they had given up five more than Houston, which owned the next-worst mark.
During last season’s postseason run, the Orioles’ pitching staff held off the long ball at a better pace. Through 64 games, the 37-27 Orioles allowed 72 home runs. They didn’t allow their 90th home run until July 2 in a 6-3 loss at Seattle and they allowed 184 for the season, which was the eighth-most in the majors. With 98 games left, they’re almost halfway there.
Despite the home runs, the Orioles sit just one game off last season’s pace at 36-28. After all, they’ve hit 86 home runs of their own after Monday. They entered the game tied for first in the majors with the Atlanta Braves.
The Orioles have also been limiting the damage done by opposing bats because of when they give up home runs. Opponents have hit 57 of their 90 home runs against the Orioles without anyone on base. Angels left fielder Mike Trout and Hamilton both hit solo shots against Garcia, and eight of the 13 home runs he’s allowed this year have been solo.
The Orioles have allowed 25 two-run home runs this year, six three-run homers and two grand slams.
Garcia has given up at least one home run in seven of his eight starts this season. His last time out at Houston on June 5, he allowed four home runs in an 11-7 loss. The lone start he didn’t allow a long ball was May 30 against Washington when he pitched eight shutout innings and allowed just three hits.
Entering Monday’s matchup with the Angels, Tillman had given up the most in the majors, and Garcia’s performance would vault him up to eighth-most.
The Orioles have allowed 301 runs through 64 games. Last season, they had allowed 284 runs through 64 games.
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