BALTIMORE — The Bronx Bombers are doing their best bombing in Baltimore.
In the same city where Francis Scott Key famously penned “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the New York Yankees hit their 49th home run against the Baltimore Orioles this season, breaking the record for most by a team against a single opponent in one season.
The record breaker came in the top of the fifth inning Wednesday night at Camden Yards, when Gio Urshela sent a 97 mph sinker from reliever Miguel Castro over the left-center-field fence for a two-run shot.
Earlier in the game, catcher Kyle Higashioka went deep off starter John Means to tie the record. The previous mark was held by the 1956 Yankees, who hit 48 homers against the Kansas City Athletics.
On Monday, the Yankees established a record by hitting their 32nd home run at Camden this season. That was the highest total by a visiting team at any stadium in one season, breaking the old record of 29, held by the 1957 Braves (at Cincinnati’s former Crosley Field).
They’ve only added to it since.
Leading the barrage for New York is infielder Gleyber Torres, who’s launched 10 of his 23 homers this season against the Birds. Nine of catcher Gary Sanchez’s 24 home runs have been at Baltimore’s expense, while more than half of outfielder Clint Frazier’s 11 dingers (six) have come versus the O’s.
|— Through 5th inning|
|— ESPN Stats & Information|
Going yard against Baltimore is nothing new.
Entering Wednesday, Orioles hurlers had surrendered 229 home runs, most in the majors and 31 more than the next-closest club (Seattle). They were on pace to finish the season with 328 homers allowed, which would shatter the record of 258, currently held by the 2016 Cincinnati Reds.
The Yankees began play Wednesday having hit 198, second in baseball behind the Minnesota Twins (223).
Overall, MLB home run numbers have spiked this season. Through Tuesday’s games, 3.6% of all plate appearances had resulted in a round-tripper, up from 3.0% a year ago. In 2017, MLB hitters collectively posted a 3.3% home run rate that was the highest in league history.
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