BALTIMORE—The brawl will dominate the Orioles news for days to come. Manny Machado and Yordano Ventura will both be suspended, and there will be appeals.
The aftermath will take away from what’s been an exciting stretch for the Orioles.
After losing the first two games of a 10-game homestand, the Orioles have now won six of seven, many in exciting fashion, and they’re still in first place in the AL East.
The easiest win of the bunch won’t be remembered for four home runs, but for the nasty dustup.
Ubaldo Jimenez struggled trying to make his case for staying in the Orioles rotation, and his teammates supported him with four home runs as the Orioles went on to a 9-1 win over the Kansas City Royals before 28,110 at Oriole Park.
By the time Machado was hit, the Orioles led 5-1. Two batters late, Mark Trumbo hit a two-run home run, his major league-leading 20th, and Chris Davis followed with his 12th.
An inning later, Adam Jones hit his ninth home run.
“I didn’t have much doubt with how they’d respond. I thought we were already having a good game considering the type of stuff we were facing. I’m very proud of how our guys handle adversity. We’ve been on both sides of it. I think sometimes you show certain things even more when you have some things not go your way. Our guys have been good at that,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Machado has been thrown out of four games. His most noted ejection came on June 8, 2014 when he was suspended for five games because he threw a bat.
Ventura was suspended for seven games in Apr. 2015 for his part in a brawl between Kansas City and Chicago.
The Orioles (34-23), who have won six of seven, scored four runs in the first inning. Ventura, who was 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA in five previous starts against the Orioles, gave up four runs in the inning.
Jones and Hyun Soo Kim began with singles. Jones scored on Machado’s RBI double. Kim and Machado came home on Trumbo’s double. Jonathan Schoop’s single scored Trumbo, and Ventura (4-4) nearly trailed 6-0, but center fielder Lorenzo Cain leaped high over the fence in front of the Orioles bullpen to snare Pedro Alvarez’s potential home run.
Ryan Flaherty led off the bottom of the second with his first home run of the season, and it landed on Eutaw Street.
Trumbo, who is in his first season with the Orioles, was happy with what he saw before—and after—the skirmish.
“It’s really nice. It’s what you want to see. There are a lot of emotions going on and there’s a lot of things that can happen. Hopefully you can use it to your advantage and not the other way around and I think everyone was pretty fired up after that and we were able to get a few runs across,” Trumbo said.
Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one run on nine hits and walked three. He left after allowing a double to Reymond Fuentes to lead off the sixth.
Kansas City had at least two baserunners in each inning and only
Machado’s perfectly timed jump robbed Fuentes of a base hit, and Flaherty’s nice stop of Escobar’s grounder to third kept the Royals from scoring in the second.
Kansas City (30-28), losers of six straight, were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
Jimenez (3-6) allowed the first four batters of the fourth to reach on three singles and a bases-loaded walk to Fuentes.
However, Jimenez retired the next three batters to escape the inning.
Despite the win, it may not be enough to keep Jimenez in the rotation. Yovani Gallardo pitched his second and possibly final rehab assignment and could take Jimenez’s place in the rotation as soon as Sunday in Toronto.
“I thought he was fortunate. Made some good defensive plays behind him. The end game statistically will look OK. That’s a lot of pitches in five-plus. I thought he made some pitches when he had to, but I thought he was fortunate,” Showalter said.
NOTES: The four runs in the first inning matched a season-high. … Flaherty has two Eutaw Street home runs. … Edinson Volquez (5-5, 4.03) faces Chris Tillman (7-1, 3.33) on Wednesday night.