Even as the Orioles pounded four home runs in an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night, it was a light showing of power compared with what opposing teams have done to their pitching staff throughout 2019.
Whit Merrifield’s third-inning solo shot off Aaron Brooks marked the 258th home run surrendered by an Orioles pitcher, tying the 2016 Cincinnati Reds for most allowed in a season. The Orioles have 35 games left, so No. 259 and those beyond it are bound to come.
Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the Orioles’ historic pace of giving up home runs:
Largely thanks to the New York Yankees and their 43 home runs at Camden Yards, the Orioles have given up 151 at home, eight behind the 1999 Colorado Rockies for the most in history. Coors Field had humidors installed three years later.
The number of homers allowed by players not on Wednesday’s 25-man roster. Of those 136 homers, 44 were off pitchers no longer with the organization: Dan Straily (22), Andrew Cashner (11), Mike Wright (5), Yefry Ramirez (2), Matt Wotherspoon (2) and Josh Lucas (2).
The number of home runs American League East opponents have hit against the Orioles.
The Orioles allowed 128 home runs before giving up a grand slam, the last team in the American League to do so before Rowdy Tellez’s bases-loaded long ball off Miguel Castro on June 12. In all, 149 of the home runs off the Orioles have been solo shots, while only two were grand slams, tied for the second fewest in baseball.
There have been 33 Orioles to allow a home run, including position players Stevie Wilkerson, Chris Davis and Hanser Alberto. The record is 35, held by this year’s Seattle Mariners. Sixteen of the Orioles to give up a home run entered this season with under a year or less of major league service time. Baltimore’s only actual pitchers to not allow a home run are Hunter Harvey, Chandler Shepherd and Nate Karns, who have pitched in a combined seven games.
That’s the number of games in which the Orioles have allowed at least four home runs, one more than the number when the opposing team hit none. With 35 games left, the Orioles hold the records for most games giving up at least three, four, five and six home runs, and they’re within reach of the record for most games allowing at least two. They are one of only five teams in history with at least two games in which their opponent hit at least seven home runs.
This an area the Orioles are still chasing the 2016 Reds. They have 13 pitchers who have allowed at least nine home runs, one behind the Reds for that record. Merrifield’s home run was the eighth Brooks has allowed as an Oriole.
In May, the Orioles were ninth among the 30 teams with 45 home runs allowed, their best ranking in any month this season. Their 73 home runs given up before May 1 were the most in baseball history, with the 42 hit off them in July, which included the All-Star break, their fewest in a full month. They’ve allowed 51 already in August, only five shy of the 2002 Rockies’ record for the month, though the Miami Marlins have surrendered 53.
Eight of the home runs were hit by players who were on the 2014 Orioles, the franchise’s last team to win a playoff game. Nelson Cruz hit four of the Minnesota Twins’ 23 home runs in six games against Baltimore, with Jonathan Schoop hitting two others (one off Davis). The San Diego Padres’ Manny Machado provided a pair himself, including one in his first game as a Camden Yards visitor. Former Orioles minor leaguer Mike Yastrzemski got his first career home run in a game against his former organization May 31.