Catcher relishes initial trot around bases; Jones hits 200th with Baltimore
By Ryan Baillargeon
BALTIMORE -- Orioles catcher Francisco Pena had dreamed of rounding the bases in a home run trot on the Major League stage while growing up at the ballpark with his dad, former Major League catcher Tony. By the time he came to the plate in the eighth inning Thursday, he'd watched his teammates trot aound the bases five times in a 12-7 win over the Red Sox.
Then he got his chance. In his Orioles debut, the 26-year-old belted his first career long ball as part of Baltimore's seven-homer power surge.
"Every little kid has that dream," Pena said. "It's the first home run in the big leagues. It was real happy. It was a great feeling. The fans here were awesome."
The Orioles are known for their power, but they entered the series finale without a homer through the first three games. They had gone 113 at-bats against Boston without a long ball until Mark Trumbo blasted a 1-2 changeup 115 mph into the seats -- it was the fourth-hardest-hit homer this season, per Statcast™.
After Adam Jones hit his own two-run shot in the next frame, Trumbo hit a ball even farther. He crushed a Rick Porcello fastball 458 feet to dead center, according to Statcast™.
"That was a bomb," Jones said. "The only right-handed hitter I've seen go up there have been Miggy [Miguel Cabrera]. That's really the only right-handed hitter that's hitting the ball up there. The guy can hit the ball out of anywhere."
Trumbo's fourth multihomer game of the season moved him into a tie with Todd Frazier for the American League lead with 17 home runs. Jones later joined Trumbo with his first multihomer game of the season. He went back-to-back with Pena to record his 200th home run with Baltimore.
The center fielder became the seventh player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
"The Orioles have a very, very storied franchise," Jones said. "These kind of things don't hit me yet because I'm still in the middle of my career. I think when I get time to sit down and reflect on things, I think it will mean more."
The game-changing home run came in the seventh, though, when Manny Machado stepped to the plate with two on and two out in a tie game. The Red Sox brought in reliever Junichi Tazawa, whose 0-1 fastball was driven into the left-field seats for Machado's 14th homer of the year.
After the Red Sox dominated the power statistics in the first three games -- they had 12 homers -- the O's got on the board in a big way.
Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.