Thome, Victorino, Phils End 6-Game Skid, Beat O’s
BALTIMORE (AP) — Jim Thome broke loose in a big way, Shane Victorino homered and drove in five runs, and the Philadelphia Phillies emphatically ended a season-worst six-game losing streak by beating the Baltimore Orioles 9-6 on Friday night.
Thome doubled twice, legged out an infield hit and got his first RBI of the season. Mike Fontenot also homered to the delight of a Camden Yards crowd full of spirited Phillies fans.
Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy homered for the Orioles, who lost for the ninth time in 12 games.
This was interleague ball, purely AL style. Boppers ruled on a night when even ninth-place batters such as Fontenot became dangerous.
The Phillies hit for the cycle, and then some, in the second inning alone — a homer, a triple, three doubles and a single. Philadelphia scored six times, with Fontenot’s two-run shot coming right after his foul fly fell beyond Hardy as left fielder Endy Chavez backed off.
By the fourth, it was 9-4 and the teams had already combined for 10 extra-base hits. Victorino had homered, doubled, singled and matched his career high for RBIs by then.
Of course, the Phillies were helped by having a designated hitter who really was a DH, rather than a bench guy. At 41, and beset by back problems for much of the year, Thome is the majors’ career leader in interleague home runs. He started in the cleanup spot despite being just 2 for 20 with 11 strikeouts this season.
Thome’s dribbler past Jake Arrieta (2-8) went for a two-out single in the first inning when shifted second baseman Robert Andino had no chance to make a play from short right field, and set up Victorino’s RBI single.
Thome lined a ground-rule double to right-center in the second that let Juan Pierre score the 1,000th run of his career. Thome doubled again in the fourth and scored on Victorino’s eighth homer for a 9-3 lead.
Arrieta, the Orioles’ opening day starter, lost his sixth straight decision. He was tagged for career highs of nine runs and 11 hits in four innings.
Joe Blanton (5-6) hung around for 6 2/3 innings and stopped a skid in which he had been pounded while going 0-3 over four starts. He has allowed 11 home runs in his past five outings.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth and remained perfect in 16 save chances.
Davis hit an RBI single in the second and Andino added a two-run double. Davis had a leadoff homer in the fourth.
Hardy greeted reliever Michael Schwimmer with a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh.
The crowd of 40,459 was the Orioles’ largest since opening day and was boosted by a throng of fans decked out in Phillies garb. With Citizens Bank Park sold out for the last 235 regular-season games, plenty of Philadelphia rooters made the short drive to see their team’s first visit to Baltimore since 2006.
The “Let’s Go, Phillies!” chants began in the first inning, with Baltimore fans playfully trying to shout them down.
When Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI single in the second, there was a collision of sound — the Phillies fans were yelling his nickname of “Chooooch” while the Orioles’ backers were simply booing.
NOTES: Phillies 3B Placido Polanco (left wrist tear) got a cortisone shot and says he expects to miss a few more days. He was hurt making a tag on Tuesday night. Baltimore star Adam Jones went 0 for 4, extending his season-long drought to 14 at-bats. Orioles 49-year-old LHP Jamie Moyer is set to start for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday night at Buffalo. He signed a minor league deal with Baltimore this week after being cut by Colorado.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)