BALTIMORE, Md. - The Baltimore Orioles slugged three more home runs as they routed the St. Louis Cardinals yet again on Saturday, 10-3.
Less than 24 hours after hitting six home runs in a 12-2 drubbing of the Cardinals in Friday's series opener, Baltimore got dingers from three different players in this one. Nelson Cruz, Delmon Young and Caleb Joseph all went yard off John Lackey (1-1), who was roughed up for nine runs on 13 hits in his second start with St. Louis.
Joseph has hit a home run in five straight starts, becoming the eighth catcher in major league history to do so and the first in Baltimore's franchise history.
The Orioles, who improved to a major league-best 24-10 since July 1, secured the series with Saturday's triumph. They have won seven straight series for the first time since taking eight in a row in 1993.
Ubaldo Jimenez (4-8) came off the disabled list and tossed six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with five strikeouts to earn the win. The veteran righty hadn't pitched since July 5 with a sprained right ankle.
A pair of walks issued by Jimenez led to a Cardinals run in the top of the first inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Jhonny Peralta ripped a double to left. Matt Carpenter scored easily, but Matt Holliday was thrown out at home plate to end the inning.
Jon Jay's solo shot with two gone in the second inning gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead, but the Orioles responded in the home half, putting up a three-spot to surge in front.
Young followed J.J. Hardy's infield single with an RBI double down the third- base line. Joseph then went deep to left-center.
Cruz made it 5-2 with his two-run shot off Lackey in the third. The homer was Cruz's third against Lackey this season.
Jay lifted a sacrifice fly into center in the fourth inning, plating Peralta to make it 5-3, but the O's weren't done. Hardy singled in Cruz with two outs in the bottom half of the fifth and Young followed with a no-doubter to left that made it an 8-3 ball game.
Three straight singles by Jonathan Schoop, Nick Markakis and Manny Machado to start the sixth inning plated the ninth Baltimore run and finally ended Lackey's outing. Seth Maness kept it at 9-3, stranding two runners by striking out Adam Jones and inducing a double-play ball off the bat of Cruz.
Kevin Siegrist's wild pitch in the eighth allowed Schoop to sprint home for the 10th and final Orioles run.