BALTIMORE (AP) — Caleb Joseph homered in his fifth consecutive game, Nelson Cruz hit his 30th and Delmon Young also went deep as the Baltimore Orioles beat John Lackey and the St. Louis Cardinals 10-3 Saturday.
All three home runs came with a man on against Lackey (1-1), making his second start since coming from Boston in a July 31 trade. The right-hander gave up nine runs and 13 hits in five-plus innings to fall to 14-8 lifetime against Baltimore.
The Orioles have hit nine homers in winning the first two games of the three-game set by a collective 22-5 score. Baltimore has won seven straight series and leads the AL East by six games, its largest margin since September 1997.
Joseph, a rookie, had three homers in first 48 games before his recent power surge. The club record for homers in successive games is six, by Reggie Jackson and Chris Davis.
Ubaldo Jimenez (4-8) returned from a stint on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle to earn his first win since May 8. He allowed three runs, six hits and three walks over six innings.
Jimenez signed a four-year, $50 million contract during the offseason. He was 0-5 with a 10.55 ERA in day games and 1-6 at home.
Jon Jay homered and had two RBIs, and Johnny Peralta hit two doubles for the Cardinals, now 7-12 in inter-league play.
An RBI double by Peralta gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead in the first, but Matt Holliday was thrown out while trying to score on the hit.
After Jay hit his second homer in 266 at-bats in the second, Baltimore went in front in the bottom half when Young doubled in a run and Joseph homered.
Cruz connected in the third after an infield hit by Adam Jones for a 5-2 lead. It was his first homer since July 25.
Young homered to cap a three-run fifth, and the Orioles chased Lackey in the sixth with three straight singles.
Cardinals: With C Yadier Molina (left thumb) out at least through August, free agent pickup A.J. Pierzynski, has hits in seven of his 10 games with the Cardinals.
Orioles: Jones was in the starting lineup after being struck in the left knee with a fastball Friday night. Not that there was ever any doubt. “He’s a warrior,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m built of carbon fiber,” Jones joked.
Cardinals: Lance Lynn (11-8) makes his team-high 24th start Sunday. He’s got a 1.32 ERA in interleague play.
Orioles: Rookie Kevin Gausman (6-3) makes his first start against the Cardinals. The right-hander allowed one earned run in six innings at Washington on Monday.
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