BALTIMORE — Who needs singles, bunts and stolen bases? Led by Charles Johnson, the Baltimore Orioles are using the long ball to pound teams into submission.
Johnson homered for the fourth time in three games Friday night as the Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers, 14-10, in a game that featured nine home runs.
Johnson's three-run homer highlighted a six-run fifth inning that put the Orioles ahead, 11-7. The teams combined for five home runs in the inning, tying a major league record.
After losing to Cleveland on opening day, Baltimore has won three in a row by a combined 31-19 score.
Each of Johnson's homers has given the Orioles the lead, and 21 of those 31 runs have come by virtue of a home run.
For the second time in two games, Mike Bordick followed a homer by Johnson with one of his own.
Johnson and Albert Belle each drove in four runs. Johnson has 12 runs batted in in four games this season compared to one all last April.
"It's been a great start for me," Johnson said. "The biggest thing is that we've been able to come out and win these games"
The victory put the Orioles two games over .500 for the first time since September 1998.
Cal Ripken and Belle also homered for the Orioles. Ripken's first homer of the season left him six hits short of becoming the 24th player to get 3,000 hits.