The Baltimore Orioles took hold of a distinction the Kansas City Royals are happy to release. Baltimore’s pitching staff gave up its 100th home run of the season Tuesday night in its 48th game, making the team the fastest to reach the century mark.
The Royals set the mark in 2000 by allowing 100 in 57 games.
The 2019 Orioles are also on pace to blow past another pitching distinction they’d rather not: most allowed in a full season. They’re on pace for 338, a number that would destroy the 2016 Cincinnati Reds’ mark of 258.
"We're facing good teams, but you've got to pitch,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said, via the Baltimore Sun. “You've got to pitch here, stay off the barrel. You've got to be able to locate, and if you don't, in a hitters’ ballpark, against guys that mash, you're going to give up 100 homers 40-something games into it."
David Hess has allowed a league-high 17 home runs over nine games. There’s no one to bring up from Triple-A Norfolk to help out, Hyde said, and the likelihood the home run frenzy stays this way is high.
The Orioles are last in the majors in ERA (5.63) and second to last in winning percentage (.319, 15-32).
More than half of the home runs (52) are off the bats of the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, who have served as opponents for a third of the Orioles’ 48 games.
Yankees destroy O’s pitching at Camden Yards
The Yankees (30-17) pushed the Orioles pitching staff past the mark, sending three pitches over the fences in an 11-4 victory Tuesday. They have 29 home runs against the Orioles and are seventh in MLB with 73 total home runs — a remarkable feat in its own right for these Yanks. And 20 of those home runs have come during five games at Camden Yards.
That 29 homers is nearly 40 percent of the division leader’s total output over a fraction of the time. The 10 games against Baltimore is 21 percent of the Yanks’ schedule so far.
Gary Sánchez and Gleyber Torres are doing most of the damage. They’re tied for most home runs in the American League against a single opponent with eight each against the Orioles — accounting for more than half of the team’s total.
Sánchez has hit six against non-Orioles pitchers for 14 overall, good for seventh in the rankings, while Torres has hit only two against other teams.
The AL East foes will continue their four-game series Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon. They play each other nine more times this season with four scheduled in Baltimore.
That’s a potential for 19 more homers if the home and away split stays on pace.
Twins sit atop MLB in home runs
The Twins are putting it all together for what looks to be a good season in Minnesota. That includes the second-most home runs for the AL Central leaders with 90 over 48 games, good for most per game in the league at 1.875.
And 23 of them have come in six games against Baltimore with 11 on a single day. The Twins hit three in the first of a doubleheader April 20 then walloped eight during a 19-hit, 16-RBI extravaganza in the 16-7 victory. It’s the most the Orioles have given up this season; second is the Yankees with seven on April 7.
Eight different Twins have hit at least seven home runs, making the team one of three in history to have that many players with at least seven by June 1. They could still become the first with nine or more players to reach the mark as the only two everyday starters without seven are at five and four. There are eight chances to do it — though none is against the Orioles. They won’t play again this season.
Home runs up in 2019
The Seattle Mariners are also on pace to surpass the 2016 Reds. Their pitching staff has given up 87 home runs in 51 games. The largest difference is the Mariners’ lineup makes up for it with a league-leading 93 home runs and 265 RBI.
Overall home runs are up this season. Hitters are taking it yard in 3.4 percent of all plate appearances, up from 3 percent last year. There were 10 grand slams over the course of three days earlier this month, an MLB record, prompting Yahoo Sports’ Hannah Keyser to suggest moving the fences back.
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