Reds use home runs to power way by Baltimore, 10-5

Published 10:40 pm Saturday, June 25, 2011

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maybe it was because the air was hot and still, or perhaps it was just that the pitching was simply lousy.

For whatever reason, the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles both set season highs in home runs. And when it the final ball cleared the fence in this unexpected long-ball contest, Joey Votto was the clear winner.

Votto homered twice and drove in five runs, and the Reds overpowered the Orioles 10-5 Saturday night in a game that featured nine home runs.

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Votto hit a three-run drive in the third inning and put Cincinnati ahead for good with a two-run shot in the fifth. The two home runs matched the total of his previous 19 games and gave him 101 for his career.

The reigning NL MVP went 3 for 4 with a walk to raise his batting average to .320.

“That was a big night. Hit his 100th home run,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Boy, we need him badly.”

Jonny Gomes, Scott Rolen and Drew Stubbs also connected for the Reds, whose five home runs eclipsed their previous season high of four.

Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy homered for Baltimore. It was the first time the Orioles hit four homers in a game since Aug. 10, 2010, in Cleveland.

But the Reds scored nine runs off their home runs, and Baltimore managed only five.

“It’s fun when you hit more than they hit, but you’re never really comfortable in a game like this because of the way the ball’s flying,” Baker said. “It wasn’t just going over the fence in the front row, it was going way over the fence. They’ve told me it gets even worse here the hotter it gets.”

The pitching had something to do with it. Orioles starter Brian Matusz (1-3) gave up three homers, including two to Votto.

“Very bad locations to quality hitters,” Matusz said. “With Votto, there’s not many guys in the league that will hit a 3-2 curveball like that from a left-hander over the left-field wall. It’s got to be in a better location.”

Bronson Arroyo (7-6) won his third straight start despite allowing a career-high tying four homers in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander gave up nine hits, walked three and struck out six.

“I got the balls up, they hit them in the air,” Arroyo said. “But luckily for us it was an American League game. Our guys slugged it out with them.”

Making his fifth start for Baltimore since coming off the disabled list on June 1, Matusz yielded six runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. The left-hander has given up 14 runs in his last three outings and has a 6.85 ERA.

“Well, the velocity obviously isn’t there,” Matusz said. “Being in my fifth start, I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress. But you just got to continue working and get a lot better.”

The interleague game attracted a crowd of 38,976 — nearly 18,000 more fans than the Orioles averaged over their previous 38 dates.

Jones put the Orioles up 1-0 in the first inning with his 13th home run, the second in two games. Gomes tied it in the second with a drive to right.

Chris Heisey led off the third with a double and Brandon Phillips got an infield hit before Votto hit a 3-2 pitch into the right-field seats. Markakis hit a two-run shot in the bottom half to make it 4-3.

Wieters tied it in the fourth with his seventh homer, but later in the inning Hardy bounced into a double play with runners at the corners and one out.

Votto made it 6-4 in the fifth with his 11th homer of the season.

“I really couldn’t go out there feeling too comfortable once we got the 6-4 lead because I realized runs are coming pretty quickly in this ballpark,” Arroyo said.

After Rolen hit a two-run drive off Brad Bergesen to make it 8-4 in the seventh, Hardy responded with a solo shot in the bottom half.

Stubbs opened the eighth with a homer off Bergesen, and Brandon Phillips added an RBI single — the first run of the game that did not come as the result of a home run.

NOTES: Markakis has hit in 15 straight games, longest streak by an Oriole this season. … The Reds intend to bring RHP Homer Bailey off the disabled list to start in Sunday’s series finale. … Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman struck out Wieters and Robert Andino in the ninth inning with fastballs clocked at 101 mph.