Orioles vs. Rangers: Steve Pearce ends June with two home runs in Baltimore’s 7-1 victory


Steve Pearce (28) batted .366 in the month of June. He finished the month with a two-home run game against the Rangers. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Steve Pearce has been one of the best hitters for the Baltimore Orioles in June, and he ended the month with a flourish in Monday’s series opener against the Texas Rangers.

Pearce hit two home runs to lead a 7-1 victory as the Orioles began the unofficial second half of the season in front of a season-low 15,252 at Camden Yards.

In one of the Orioles’ best all-around efforts of the season, the offense did its part as right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez won his first game since May 8; he entered with a nine-start winless streak.

A player short as third baseman Manny Machado began serving a five-game suspension and with their bullpen reeling from accounting for nine innings in the previous two games, this was exactly what the Orioles needed.

Pearce drove in four runs and recorded the first multihomer game of his career. Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy each added a solo home run.

With the win, the Orioles (43-39) moved within one game of the American League East division-leading Toronto Blue Jays, who were off Monday.

Jimenez not only recorded his deepest start of the season, holding the Rangers to one unearned run and four hits in eight innings, but he also earned his first win this season at Camden Yards.

Entering Monday, Jimenez was 0-6 with a 6.28 ERA in eight home starts this season.

The Orioles have won both of Jimenez’s starts against the Rangers, who have lost 10 of their past 12 games. They are 3-12 in Jimenez’s other starts.

Pearce put the Orioles up 2-0 two batters into the bottom of the first inning when he took a 1-0 fastball deep into the left field stands after Nick Markakis drew a leadoff walk.

Two batters later, Jones teed off on Joe Saunders (0-5), pulling a 2-2 pitch down the left field line for his 15th homer of the season.

In the next inning, Hardy hit his second homer in nine games after going homerless in his previous 339 at-bats.

Pearce then hit his second homer of the night — a two-out, two-run shot for a 6-0 lead.

Pearce, who was placed on waivers in April and refused a waiver claim so he could return to the Orioles, finished June hitting .366 (26 for 71) with five homers and 13 RBI.

With their four homers Monday, the Orioles finished with 46 home runs in June, the most in the major leagues. Their 96 homers this season are second most in the majors, trailing only Toronto (108).

— Baltimore Sun

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