Orioles take over 1st place in AL East, set franchise record for homers in a month

The Baltimore Orioles took over first place in the American League East with a 6–5 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday. While that was probably the most important headline coming out of Camden Yards, the Orioles also set some franchise slugging history in the victory.

Anthony Santander’s second-inning home run off Michael Lorenzen was Baltimore’s 59th home run in June, which set a team record for most homers in a calendar month. With his 13th homer this month, Santander also set an individual franchise mark for most home runs in June.

The list of Orioles sluggers Santander surpassed for most home runs in June is an impressive foursome. Chris Davis, Albert Belle, Rafael Palmeiro and Boog Powell all previously hit 12 homers in June.

Santander, who now has 22 home runs this season, has a chance to set the Orioles’ all-time record for homers in a calendar month. But he would have to hit three on Sunday to overtake Jim Gentile and Harlond Clift, according to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs.

Though it didn’t leave the park, Santander had another impactful hit in the seventh with an RBI double that gave Baltimore a 6–4 lead, enough of a margin to eventually hold up for the win.

However, the biggest blow in Baltimore’s win on Saturday came from Heston Kjerstad. His grand slam in the fifth inning gave the Orioles a 5–2 lead, creating enough of a cushion to withstand a Rangers rally fueled by home runs by Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis García.

Kjerstad’s homer also boosted Baltimore’s June 2024 total to 60, making the Orioles just the third team in MLB history to hit that many long balls in a calendar month. With a home run on Sunday, they can tie the 2023 Atlanta Braves, who hit 61 last June. And, of course, with two homers, the O’s can hit the second-most ever in a single month.

The all-time record is likely out of reach, unless Baltimore sets another MLB record for most home runs in a single game. The 2019 New York Yankees hit 74 homers in the month of August. And the record for most home runs by a team in a single game is 10 by the 1987 Toronto Blue Jays.

The Orioles’ previous record of 58 home runs in a month was set by the 1987 club during the month of May.

With the Yankees’ 9–3 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday, the Orioles (53–30) took over first place in the AL East. June hasn’t been as kind to the Yankees (53–32), who have lost five of their past six games and 10 of their last 13.

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