Right-hander Chris Tillman suffered through another bumpy first inning, but the once-slumbering Orioles offense erupted with a season-high six home runs to carry him to an 11-3 victory over the Oakland A's before a Mother's Day crowd of 43,690 at Camden Yards.
Tillman allowed three runs on four hits and a hit batsman in that opening frame and he would walk a batter in each of the next three innings before settling down to pitch into the seventh. The early fireworks – five of the homers came in the first four innings – turned it into a low-stress outing and helped him improve his record to 4-1.
Manny Machado would turn it into a blowout with his second homer of the game, an eighth-inning grand slam that gave him a career-high six RBI.
"I had a rough first inning and the boys had us back on top in the third (actually second),'' said Tillman, who pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up just two more hits. "I think as a starting pitcher, that does everything in the world for you. You can go out there and get ahead and make pitches to get guys out and put them away at the same time. It's something to watch."
The Orioles bounced back from a one-sided loss in the first game of a split doubleheader on Saturday to win the nightcap and regain sole possession of first place in the American League East. Late in the first game they began to pull out of an offensive funk that saw them score just six runs in their previous four games. They scored five runs in the second game and busted out big-time Sunday.
Machado quickly took a chunk out of the first-inning deficit with a two-run homer that was his eighth of the year. Pedro Alvarez and Jonathan Schoop hit back-to-back solo homers in the second, the mammoth Alvarez shot hitting the second floor of the B&O Warehouse on one bounce.
"You couldn't have dialed up a more perfect day to play baseball,'' manager Buck Showalter said. "They did such a great job with the Mother's Day thing on the field today…you just really want to play a good game – an entertaining game that you win. You don't get many opportunities where you've got a full house and the weather is letter-perfect. It's kind of a Baltimore coming out after the weather we've had in April."
Mark Trumbo joined the fun with a long homer to left in the third – his ninth –and Joey Rickard delivered his third homer of the season in the fourth. Trumbo also would single and triple in his first three at-bats, but could not add the final piece of the cycle in two ensuing plate appearances.
The six homers were the most allowed by the A's in a game since April 19, 1994.
Rickard web gem: Rickard hit his third home run Sunday, but that wasn't his most impressive feat. He made a running, diving catch deep in left-center field to rob A's left fielder Mark Canha of an extra-base hit. If you missed it, it'll certainly end up on some highlight reels.
Reddick keeps rolling: Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick had seven hits in nine at-bats in Saturday's doubleheader, and he wasn't done for the weekend. He would go on to tie an A's record with hits in eight straight at-bats and finish the series with 10 hits in 12 at-bats. In the space of about 27 hours, he raised his batting average from .260 to .319.
Schoop streak: When Jonathan Schoop homered in the second inning, he extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He also singled in the sixth and eighth innings and is batting .350 with two homers, four RBI and eight runs scored over the course of the streak. He raised his overall average to .257.