Orioles hit 6 HRs, rout Cardinals

Baltimore, MD ( - The Baltimore Orioles hit six home runs on Friday en route to a 12-2 drubbing of the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series.

J.J. Hardy homered twice in the rout, while Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Chris Davis and Ryan Flaherty went yard as well. Nick Hundley had three hits for the O's, who extended their major league-best record since July 1 to 23-10.

All nine starters in Baltimore's lineup had at least one hit.

The power surge overshadowed a terrific start by Chris Tillman, who held St. Louis scoreless over 6 2/3 innings before A.J. Pierzynski hit his first home run as a member of the Cardinals. Tillman (9-5) struck out seven and gave up just two runs on four hits.

"When you see him have control on his fastball and his curveball early in the game, he has a real good chance," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's been real crisp."

Machado was hit with a pitch around singles by Nick Markakis and Jones in the top of the first inning, putting Cardinals starter Justin Masterson (1-1) in a bases-loaded jam with no outs. Masterson fanned the next two batters and got Hardy to ground out, temporarily avoiding the big inning.

It came in the second, though. Flaherty singled and scored on a Hundley base knock to left. After Markakis drew a walk, Machado made it 4-0 with his home run to left center.

Hardy led off the third inning with a solo home run and again Masterson loaded the bases before getting pulled for reliever Nick Greenwood. Greenwood induced a 1-2-3 double-play and a groundout.

Masterson's final line included five runs on seven hits in just two-plus innings.

"I think we just tried to make the sinker do a little too much," Masterson said. "It just came out a little early, so hitters were seeing it a little earlier. They put some good swings on it, they didn't miss anything."

Hardy homered again in the fourth inning, this time with Jones and Davis on base for an 8-0 Baltimore lead. Jones and Davis hit solo blasts in the fifth and sixth, respectively, and Flaherty plated the 11th and 12th Orioles runs with his sixth-inning home run.

After Pierzynski's shot to right made it 12-2, Brian Matusz took Tillman's place on the mound and recorded the next four outs. Brad Brach needed just six pitches to get through the ninth.

Game Notes

The Orioles have won seven consecutive series openers ... Tillman won his first interleague start in 11 tries. He improved to 1-1 in those games ... Masterson has lost his last three decisions against Baltimore ... The Orioles outhit the Cardinals, 15-4 ... Prior to the game, St. Louis placed pitcher Jason Motte on the 15-day disabled list and recalled Greenwood from Triple-A Memphis.