BALTIMORE – Sometimes, baseball isn’t all that mystifying. Match a hard-hitting lineup against an inexperienced pitching staff, put them both in a small ballpark, and the result is quite predictable.
Such is the case when the New York Yankees face the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
The Yankees hit five more home runs at their favorite road destination to set a major league record and win their 13th straight game in Baltimore, 9-6 on Monday night.
New York’s power surge and sixth straight win overshadowed a memorable night for Baltimore’s Jonathan Villar, who became the fifth Orioles player to hit for the cycle and first since Felix Pie on Aug. 14, 2009. Villar tripled in the third inning, doubled in the fifth, homered in the sixth and dumped a single into right field off Aroldis Chapman in the ninth.
Although it looked as if Villar had no interest in heading to second base on the poke near the line, he later said he had no idea that the single completed the cycle.
“I wasn’t paying attention to that,” he said. “When I hit a base hit right there, the coach at first, he said, ‘Congratulations, you hit for the cycle.’ Right there, I knew I hit for the cycle.”
Mike Tauchman delivered a bases-empty drive in the sixth inning and a solo shot off Paul Fry (1-4) in the eighth, his first career multihomer game . Austin Romine, Brett Gardner and Mike Ford also connected for the Yankees.
Not exactly Murderers’ Row, but certainly effective enough.
“That’s been a theme for us all year,” manager Aaron Boone said. “They can come from a lot of different places, and the bottom of the order is a place where we’ve gotten really good production and a place where we feel really confident.”
New York has hit 32 home runs at Camden Yards, a single-season record for most by a visiting team in one ballpark. The mark was previously held by the Milwaukee Braves, who hit 29 at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field in 1957.
The Yankees did it in only eight games, and they can add to the record on Tuesday and Wednesday against a woeful pitching staff that has yielded the most home runs in the majors.
New York starter Masahiro Tanaka gave up five runs and 10 hits in 5⅓ innings in a no-decision. He walked two and fanned four.
Red Sox 7, Royals 5
In Boston, Rick Porcello pitched six innings of one-run ball, Sam Travis hit a two-run homer and the Red Sox halted their eight-game losing streak by topping struggling Kansas City.
Rafael Devers added a solo shot for Boston. Travis’ gave the Red Sox a homer in a club-record 18 straight games in Fenway Park. The old mark was set in 1969.
Bubba Starling, Meibrys Viloria and Cheslor Cuthbert each went deep for the Royals, with Viloria’s his first homer in the majors and Starling’s a three-run shot.
It was the seventh straight loss for Kansas City, which had a 10-game skid in the season’s first two weeks.
Mets 6, Marlins 2 (1st)
Mets 5, Marlins 4, (2nd)
In New York, J.D. Davis, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso homered in a seventh-inning rally, lifting the Mets over Miami for a doubleheader sweep that moved them above .500 for the first time since early May.
New York won the opener as Jeff McNeil welcomed Robert Dugger to the major leagues with a home run on his first pitch, Amed Rosario broke a 1-1 tie with a third-inning homer and Jacob deGrom gave himself a three-run cushion with a two-run single.
The Mets (57-56) had not been above .500 since they were 16-15 before play on May 3.
In the opener, Miami’s Isan Diaz had a memorable home run, connecting off deGrom in the sixth inning of his big league debut for his first hit.
DeGrom (7-7) struck out eight in seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits. Other than the home run, he retired 15 of his last 16 batters.
Dugger gave up six runs, five hits and four walks in five innings, striking out three, hitting two batters and throwing a wild pitch. He became the first starting pitcher to give up a home run on the first pitch of his debut since New York Yankees rookie Derek Jeter — the Marlins current CEO — went deep off the California Angels’ Jason Dickson on Aug. 21, 1996, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Reds 7, Angels 4
In Cincinnati, Luis Castillo struck out a career-high 13 and the Reds scored five runs in the first inning en route to a victory over Los Angeles.
Castillo (11-4) threw a career-high 119 pitches in seven innings while getting his career-best 11th win. He allowed three hits and one walk before finishing with a flourish, striking out the side in the seventh.
Raisel Iglesias picked up his 22nd save.
Angels pinch hitter Shohei Ohtani struck out in the ninth.
Brewers 9, Pirates 7
In Pittsburgh, Christian Yelich hit two home runs and took over the major league lead with 39, powering Milwaukee past the Pirates.
In Other Games
White Sox 7, Tigers 4
Twins 5, Braves 3
Cubs 6, Athletics 5
Blue Jays 2, Rays 0
Rangers 1, Indians 0
Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 3
Nationals 4, Giants 0
Twins 5, Braves 3
Dodgers 8, Cardinals 0