Orioles allow MLB record-tying 258th HR of season: 5 fun facts

The battered and bruised Orioles pitching staff allowed its 258th home run of the season Wednesday night, tying the MLB record.

Footnote: There are more than five weeks remaining in a regular season “full of records the Orioles would rather not set,” the Baltimore Sun noted.

The Royals’ Whit Merrifield went deep in the third inning off right-hander Aaron Brooks, moving the Orioles into a tie with the 2016 Reds – for now.

“We give up a ton of homers,” manager Brandon Hyde told reporters afterward. “If it’s 259 or 330, I don’t care. I just want us to get better on the mound and obviously, we have to finish this year and go into next year and try to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark and staying off the barrel.”

Here are five fast facts about Baltimore’s homer (un)happy season:

1. The Orioles are allowing more than two HRs per game.

They’ve allowed 258 through 127 games.

But they’re not alone in giving up the long ball in 2019. The Yankees, in first place in the Orioles’ AL East, also are on a pace to allow more homers than the 2016 Reds, as are the Mariners, Angels and Phillies.

“Home runs are up. We play in a nasty division where guys are looking to launch the baseball, and really, really good hitters,” Hyde said. “We just have to do a better job going forward. The past is the past with the home runs. We’re all tired of seeing them, and hopefully we can get better going forward.”

2. The Orioles tied the HR record on a rare HR night.

Although Merrifield went deep, he did it only once.

And no other major-leaguer Wednesday hit more than one home run, the first time since July 14 that no MLB player had a multi-homer game.

That ended a more than five-week streak of at least one MLB player having a multi-homer game, according to Stats Perform.

The night was rare in another sense: The Orioles (41-86) won, 8-1, to win a series for the first time since July 25-27 against the Angels.

3. The Orioles set the AL record for HRs allowed a while ago.

They broke the American League record of 242 on Aug. 12 in New York against the Yankees, breaking a record set jointly by, yes, the 2017 Orioles and the White Sox.

And the Orioles have done it systematically: They were the fastest in history to 50 and 100 allowed – and every amount of home runs thereafter by default, the Sun noted.

Speaking of New York, the Orioles allowed a record 61 home runs in 19 games against the Yankees – the most any MLB team has ever given up to a single opponent – and a record 13 to Gleyber Torres alone.

The good news? The Orioles don’t face the Yankees the rest of the way.

4. The Orioles, as the record indicates, give up HRs in bunches.

They’ve allowed four or more homers in 23 games, that’s more than the number of games they’ve had without allowing one (21).

“We hear it a lot,” reliever Richard Bleier said. “It’s not like we’re trying to. I think we’re all trying to keep the ball in the park, regardless of the record or anything like that. I just think home runs are going to become more and more prevalent, and we’re just not doing a good enough job of keeping the ball in the park. And everybody’s trying to hit them.”

Of the 33 true pitchers to appear in games for them this year, only three – Nate Karns, Hunter Harvey and Chandler Shepherd – didn’t allow a home run.

Footnote: Karns pitched only four times before going on the injured list and eventually being designated for assignment. Harvey pitched twice and Shepherd pitched only once in an Orioles uniform.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, David Hess leads the way with 28 of the 258 allowed, followed by Dylan Bundy (25) and Dan Straily (22 … in only 47 2/3 innings).

Footnote II: Forty-four of the 258 home runs were allowed by pitchers no longer in the Orioles organization, a list that features Andrew Cashner, Mike Wright, Josh Lucas, Yefry Ramirez and Matt Wotherspoon.

5. The Orioles have a shot at another HR record, too.

Baltimore’s 258 home runs allowed are distributed among 127 hitters, and every team the Orioles have faced has hit at least two off them.

But wait, there’s more: The next record on the HRizon – after some Orioles pitcher surrenders the record-breaking homer – is the MLB mark for homers allowed in August.

The 2002 Rockies (hello, Coors Field!) allowed 56.

The Orioles enter Thursday’s play having allowed 51 this month with – tick-tock, people! – 10 days to go until September.

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