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Inside the record-setting seventh inning for Mark Trumbo and the homer-happy Orioles

Inside the record-setting seventh inning for Mark Trumbo and the homer-happy Orioles
Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo, left, celebrates a three-run homer against the Texas Rangers in the seventh inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 15, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. All players are wearing No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

Mark Trumbo heard all the speculation, because for every story written during spring training about about just how much power the Orioles lineup could have this season, he was questioned on the subject.

After becoming the first player in Orioles history to homer twice in one inning as part of a nine-run, four-homer seventh inning in Friday's 11-5 win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park, Trumbo conceded that the reality is better than anything the prognostications could provide.

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"There's no doubt. This is where the fun is. The speculation — the preseason — is one thing," Trumbo said. "But to go and actually see it with your own eyes, in season, this was a really, really fun game for us."

They kept coming back to that word: fun. Nolan Reimold, whose solo home run made it 6-5 in that seventh inning, used it, too. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop, whose two-run home run in the seventh tied the game before Reimold's blast, said it was "special."

"We scored nine runs in one inning, and we came back," Schoop said. "That's why we battle and play the whole nine innings. The first couple of innings, [Rangers starter Martin Perez] was pitching really good. Then after that, we got at him."

"It's still really early, but we know we can hit some home runs and put up some runs," Reimold said. "So I guess that's what we did tonight."

The home runs took the headlines in the inning, but there were other aspects that the players involved said shouldn't be overlooked. First baseman Chris Davis drew two walks in the seventh, the first leading off the inning with Perez nearing 100 pitches.

Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen was warming up behind Perez, but the left-hander got one last batter. Trumbo hit a laser to center field that left a dent in Greene's Hill for his fourth home run of the season.

Wilhelmsen didn't fare any better when his time came. Shortstop J.J. Hardy singled, then scored after Schoop pulled a slider down the left-field line for his second home run of the season. Reimold homered to left two pitches later.

When the damage was seemingly done, the top of the Orioles order got in on the fun. Third baseman Manny Machado drove a ball to right-center field that hit mere inches from the top of the wall, narrowly missing a home run of his own. He settled for a double. Center fielder Adam Jones singled to drive Machado in for what looked like a useful insurance run at 7-5 before a second reliever, Andrew Faulkner, replaced Wilhelmsen.

It was another lefty, not Perez, but the results were the same as the first time Davis and Trumbo hit in the seventh. Davis walked, and Trumbo homered, this time to left-center.

Trumbo pointed to the Davis walks as keys to the inning.

"You don't want to leave anything [out]," he said. "There were a lot of fireworks tonight. But him going up there and being patient like he did — and there were some close pitches, too — allowed myself and a few other guys to kind of feed off that. Those are the little things that make the big differences. It's just a testament to him being as disciplined as he is."

Trumbo now has five home runs in as many games, is the first Orioles player to hit five homers in his first 10 games with the club (per the Elias Sports Bureau) and is tied for second in the majors in that category. On his own power, he was less effusive.

"I don't know. I don't want to overthink it," Trumbo said. "But in the past I've been a little streaky when it comes to the power. It's always a nice thing when it happens for us and tonight it was a really close game until we were able to do a little bit of damage and separate things."

Schoop was in awe of what Trumbo has done this week.

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He said: "Trumbo. Trumbo is a different level. Respect, you know? He's got big pop."

To limit the discussion of that damage to just the seventh inning would be to disqualify Schoop's second home run, another pulled ball to left that might have been the longest of the entire night and ended an eight-pitch at-bat.

"Jon tied the game up, and against this team in this ballpark, every tack-on run you can get [is important]," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "To think we'd be thinking about tack-on runs when it was 5-1 and Perez was dealing, that's hard to imagine."

The big inning and the home runs had varying levels of significance both around the game and to the franchise. Showalter was floored by the fact that none of the legendary Orioles that came before had homered twice in an inning.

"That's amazing to me that all the great Orioles that that's never happened twice in one inning," he said. "Really? Wow."

Trumbo was the first player in all of baseball to do it since Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion on July 26, 2013. In August 2012, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre did it to the Orioles in Arlington.

His two home runs contributed to the first four-homer inning since the Detroit Tigers had one on June 1, 2013 against the Orioles at Camden Yards. It was the Orioles' first four-homer inning since Sept. 5, 1995 against the Los Angeles Angels, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The nine runs scored in the inning were the most the Orioles had scored since a 10-run eighth inning on Sept. 11, 2015, an inning marked by grand slams by Reimold and catcher Steve Clevenger.

Through 10 games this season, the Orioles now are tied for the major league lead with 20 home runs.

This story has been updated to reflect that the last time the Orioles had four home runs in an inning was Sept. 5, not Sept. 9.

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