BALTIMORE (AP) — Using a power-laden offense and a shutdown bullpen, the Baltimore Orioles have secured first place in the AL East.
Pedro Alvarez sustained the initial part of that equation Tuesday night by hitting two homers and driving in five runs.
It wasn’t enough to overcome a rare collapse by the bullpen in a 10-7 loss to the San Diego Padres.
Baltimore took a 6-3 lead into the seventh inning following a decent outing by starter Tyler Wilson.
Matt Kemp got things started in the eighth with a double off Mychal Givens (5-1), who failed to retire any of the five batters he faced. After Givens issued a bases-loaded walk to Derek Norris, Oliver Drake immediately uncorked a wild pitch to let in the tying run before Christian Bethancourt delivered a run-scoring grounder.
“We’ve got a lot of guys learning the job without much major league experience, with Tyler being one of them,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And Mychal and Oliver. I can keep rattling them off, but no one wants to hear about it.”
Kevin Quackenbush (5-3) earned the win with one inning of scoreless relief and Fernando Rodney got four outs for his 15th save, retiring Adam Jones with the bases loaded in the eighth and the score 7-6.
San Diego pulled away with three runs off Zach Britton in the ninth, the last of them on a single by Kemp.
“We just didn’t execute pitches down there,” Britton said of the bullpen. “For me especially, trying to keep that game close right there, a one-run game. Especially with our offense, we know that they can put some runs on the board. Just a frustrating performance.”
Rodney gave up his first earned run of the season in the bottom half, on an RBI grounder by Alvarez that struck first base and was ruled a single.
“You couldn’t ask for more from him,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “Just wish there wasn’t a blemish on his ERA now.”
After going 40-29 against the AL, Baltimore became the last team in the majors to delve into interleague play.
San Diego’s comeback spoiled Alvarez’s 11th career multihomer game and first since Aug. 23, 2014. He hit a two-run homer in the fourth for a 4-3 lead and connected with a man on in the fifth to make it 6-3.
Both drives came off Rule 5 rookie Luis Perdomo, who gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings. The right-hander did, however, have a career-high eight strikeouts.
Givens was 7-0 in his career before this dud, which raised his ERA from 2.70 to 3.78.
Jones, a San Diego native, went 1 for 5 but has a .424 career average against the Padres. … When scoring five or more runs this season, the Padres are 20-8. … Since 2012, Rodney has 164 saves, second only to Craig Kimbrel’s 194.
The Orioles recalled Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and outrighted INF Paul Janish to the same minor league club. Janish has three days to accept the assignment or become a free agent.
Padres: OF Jon Jay was held from the starting lineup after being hit by a pitch in the back on Sunday by Washington’s Gio Gonzalez. … RHPs Andrew Cashner (strained neck) and Tyson Ross (right shoulder inflammation) threw 30 pitches on the side Tuesday.
Orioles: LHP Brian Duensing had his left elbow examined and could be headed toward the DL.
Padres: RHP Erik Johnson (0-2, 8.44 ERA) starts the finale of the two-game series Wednesday night. Obtained from the White Sox in the trade for James Shields, he’s lost all four of his outings this season.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez starts for Baltimore in the final game of 3B Manny Machado’s four-game suspension..