Bombs away: Orioles tie franchise record with seven homers in win

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Chris Davis and rookie Manny Machado went deep twice apiece as the Orioles combined for seven homers Wednesday in beating the Blue Jays 12-2.

Baltimore remained 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees after New York won earlier in the day.

Nate McLouth opened the bottom of the first with a homer tonight, but it was then quiet until the fifth. That frame saw Jim Thome, Machado and Davis all leave the yard, giving the Orioles a 6-2 lead. After that, the team added another two-run homer each inning: Mark Reynolds in the sixth, Davis in the seventh and Machado in the eighth. Of course, they didn’t need a ninth.

It was the third time in Orioles history that the team has hit seven homers. The first was on May 17, 1967 against the Red Sox. Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Davey Johnson were among the seven who homered that day. The other time was on Aug. 26, 1985 against the Angels. Eddie Murray hit three homers and drove in nine in that one.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.