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TIMORE -- For the first time in American League history, a team opened with back-to-back-to-back home runs. Orioles Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis staked Baltimore to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of a 6-5 win in Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader against Texas.
"Nothing surprises me when you're dealing with this level of skill," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "These are the best players in the world, but they're also human beings who are susceptible to things and capable of doing great things. It's always an honor to sit there and watch them. There's not a day that goes by that something doesn't happen."
All three homers came within the first eight pitches from Rangers starter Colby Lewis. Flaherty's blast to right on a low fastball was his first career extra-base hit. Hardy's shot to left, the farthest of the bunch, came on a fastball down the middle. Markakis completed the trifecta with his homer to right, on an 0-2 slider.
"We were fortunate to take advantage of it early," Showalter said. "Our guys put some good swings on some mistakes. We've done a few things this year [for the] first time, a first for me."
Thrice as nice: Three home runs to lead off a game
Players who homered
April 13, 1987
Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn, John Kruk
May 28, 2003
Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa, Gary Sheffield
Sept. 9, 2007
Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Braun
May 10, 2012
Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis
Thursday marked the first time any team opened a game with three consecutive home runs since the Brewers did it on Sept. 9, 2007. That day, Hardy was once again batting second, sandwiched between Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun. It was also just the fourth time overall a team has started a game with three jacks.
Atlanta's Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa and Gary Sheffield did it May 28, 2003, and San Diego's Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn and John Kruk accomplished the feat on April 13, 1987.
Thursday marked the first time the Orioles went back-to-back-to-back since June 12, 1999, when Brady Anderson, Mike Bordick and Will Clark did it.