Not so long ago, the Padres were scuffling for victories no matter the opponent. Now a scrappy roster minus high-profile names is finding ways to win even against one of the American League's best.
Alexi Amarista homered and doubled twice and the San Diego Padres matched their season-high with 17 hits, beating the Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Wednesday for a two-game sweep.
Everth Cabrera had four hits and a walk, and Jedd Gyorko had three singles for the Padres, who are 13-6 after a 5-15 start.
John Baker hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the second against Freddy Garcia (0-2), and Kyle Blanks hit a two-run homer in the fourth for a 4-1 lead.
"We've been playing well the last three weeks," said Padres manager Bud Black, whose club rallied after losing three straight at Tampa Bay. "Things have turned in a good way. We had a tough series down in Tampa. I liked the way the guys responded today. It was outstanding. We got to their starter. We kept the pressure on, got a lot of base hits."
Every starter had at least one hit for the Padres, including Amarista, who entered the game batting .233 in 73 at-bats. Slotted eighth in the lineup between Blanks and Baker, the lefty-swinging outfielder went the opposite way for a two-run homer off Tommy Hunter in the seventh.
"Every time you have an opportunity to get in there and produce, you have to take advantage of that so you can have some more opportunities to help the team," Amarista said through a translator.
J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles off Jason Marquis (5-2), who won his fourth straight start. Manny Machado had four hits.
In getting swept for the first time this season, the Orioles allowed a season-high 17 hits.
Marquis allowed two runs, seven hits and four walks in five-plus innings. He has a 2.45 ERA in his last four starts.
Garcia gave up four runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest outing in three starts for the Orioles.
"Not quite as crisp," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We just didn't pitch well today. What did we give up, like 17 hits? It wasn't just Freddy. They had some good fortune, too, but they hit a lot of balls hard too. They came in here and swung the bats well."
Baltimore loaded the bases in the first before Wieters hit an inning-ending groundout. The sinkerball-throwing Marquis also escaped damage in the second and fifth by inducing double-play grounders.
"Some days you're not going to feel as good as others, but at the end of the day you have to make pitches in big situations," Marquis said. "I don't want to keep putting myself in those situations, but if you do, got to find a way."
Dale Thayer relieved Marquis with two on in the sixth and retired three in a row.
Baker's second-inning single was one of three straight two-out hits. The fourth inning included Blanks' homer, Amarista's second double of the game and Will Venable's RBI double off T.J. McFarland.
"Baker, Amarista, Blanks get in the lineup, those guys want to be a part of the contribution," Black said. "Today they were."
Machado has at least three hits in four of his last five games and is batting .560 (14 of 25) in that span.
The Orioles finished the first quarter of the season with a 23-17 record, not that Showalter is interested in such road markers.
"This is an impossible game to be perfect at," Showalter said. "I'm not going to get too reflective at the . that's for the Preakness or whatever it is, where they go a quarter-mile and all that other stuff."
NOTES: The Padres have four series sweeps. ... After throwing 35 pitches on Wednesday, Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez (blister) is expected to pitch Friday either in a simulated game or in the minors. Placed on the 15-day DL on May 4, Gonzalez is 2-2 in six starts. ... Padres INF Logan Forsythe (right foot plantar fasciitis) is eligible to come off the 60-day DL on May 22, but will not begin baseball activities this week, Black said. ...Following an off day, the Orioles start a three-game series against Tampa Bay. Jason Hammel (5-1) is slated to start Friday's opener against Jeremy Hellickson (1-2). ... The Padres return home for four games against Washington. Edinson Volquez (3-3) starts for San Diego on Thursday against fellow RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-5).