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Davis hits 41st homer; Orioles win

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Crush Davis put the hurt on the San Diego Padres.

Chris Davis, Baltimore's slugging first baseman, slammed a three-run home run in the eighth inning to lead the Orioles to a 10-3 victory over the Padres on Wednesday afternoon.

Davis lived up to his nickname in unlocking a 3-3 tie, sending reliever Colt Hynes' 79 mph slider deep into the right-field seats. The ball soared 453 feet, the second-longest homer in Petco Park history, as Davis collected his major-league leading 41st home run and 106th RBI.

"I don't know if it's the longest one I ever hit but it's one of the longer ones,'' Davis said. "I think it helped that the wind was blowing out a little bit, but in that situation I'm looking for something out over the plate I can drive and I'm trying to be aggressive.''

In relief of starter Miguel Gonzalez, Francisco Rodriguez (1-0) collected the win in working a spotless seventh inning.

"I thought Miggy was as good as anything that happen in the game,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after Gonzalez allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. "He gave up a 3-2 walk and a broken-bat single to left and made one of the few mistakes he made. The game is not always fair. He was really good today; you could tell early on he was carrying good stuff.''

Luke Gregerson (5-6) absorbed the loss as he continues to struggle in the season's second half. He was among four Padres relievers challenged by the Orioles' potent lineup as they allowed seven runs in three innings.

"We had a little bit of a breakdown in our bullpen,'' manager Bud Black said.

Starter Eric Stults wasn't especially dominant, but he pitched seven innings, getting touched for three runs on five hits.

"It was a battle,'' he said. "Location wasn't the greatest. I was able to keep us in the game. But I felt like I had some mental errors. I wasn't as sharp as I should have been.''

With one swing, Jedd Gyorko erased the Orioles' 3-0 lead in the sixth and put a dent in a 6-for-63 skid. He stroked a three-run homer off the top of the center-field fence. Before that, the Padres were stymied by Gonzalez.

But Chris Denorfia opened with a walk and Yonder Alonso added more traffic on the bases with a broken-bat single. Gyorko followed with his 10th homer off a Gonzalez fastball which got too much of the plate.

The Orioles had struck first, in between Stults striking out the side in the second.

Stults retired Davis and Matt Wieters swinging and had J.J. Hardy in a 0-2 hole. But Stults elevated an 89 mph fastball and Hardy shot it off the Western Metal Supply building's second deck for his 19th home run. Stults then struck out Steve Pearce.

Baltimore's lead doubled in the fourth, thanks to a questionable call and questionable throw.

Manny Machado grounded to Gyorko at second and his toss to Alonso at first briefly pulled him off the bag. But it appeared Alonso returned to the bag before Machado reached it -- first base umpire Angel Hernandez disagreed.

With Machado aboard, Adam Jones singled up the middle. As Machado headed for third, center fielder Alexi Amarista's relay to Chase Headley landed in the Orioles' dugout, allowing Machado to score.

Baltimore made it 3-0 in the fifth when Machado drove in Pearce, after Pearce led off the inning with a double. The Orioles wasted a chance to blow the game open as Jones struck out and Davis flew out to center to leave the bases loaded.

Later, Davis parked one well out of Petco Park to pace the Orioles to their second straight win. His big hit came after stranding four runners in his previous two times up.

"I had just two awful at-bats and leaving guys on in that third at-bat in a tight game,'' Davis said before his blast decided the game. "It was huge just not for me, but for the team.''

NOTES: Padres C Yasmani Grandal underwent successful knee surgery to repair his torn ACL. Grandal's procedure was on Tuesday; he's out for the season. Grandal was injured last month on a collision at the plate. ... Padres LHP Cory Luebke reports to the club's Arizona summer league team to continue his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery following a 25-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. ... Orioles RHP Jason Hammel had discomfort when attempting to throw on Tuesday and might not exit the disabled list on Aug. 13. He's experiencing pain in both his elbow and forearm.
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