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SD@BAL: Cabrera goes 4-for-5, tallies one RBI in win

BALTIMORE -- John Baker's face said it all Wednesday -- the smudged eye black, running down his face like mascara on a rainy day, the haggard look from catching nine innings on a long afternoon.

That wasn't all, though.

There was a look of relief and a smile that were present, too. Getting your first hit in 5 1/2 weeks will do that, especially when it was as important as the one he had against the Orioles.

"You have no idea," Baker said.

Baker's two-run single in the second wasn't the decisive blow in the Padres' 8-4 win over the Orioles before a crowd of 32,418 at Camden Yards, because the bottom of the lineup produced over and over again, as San Diego won for the second time in this brief two-game series.

But it was exactly what he needed.

Baker, left fielder Kyle Blanks and center fielder Alexi Amarista -- three bench players -- cobbled together a big day at the plate with a combined five hits, two home runs and five RBIs to fuel a 17-hit charge.

"With Baker, Amarista and Blanks in the lineup, those guys want to be a part of the contribution," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It takes all 25 [players]. It was great for those guys. This was a good team win."

Baker was in the middle of it all Wednesday, as he caught nine innings and five different pitchers. His two-run single off Freddy Garcia (0-2) in the second inning with two outs was his first hit since April 7, and his first hit this season with runners in scoring position.

From there, the Padres added on -- two runs in the fourth, two more in the seventh. All told, San Diego (18-21) scored in five different innings. Everth Cabrera had four hits, and Amarista finished with three, including a two-run home run in the seventh to put the game out of reach at 7-2.

"I looked up at one point, and everyone had a hit," Baker said.

That was plenty of offense for Padres pitcher Jason Marquis (5-2), who tossed eight scoreless innings in his last start against the Marlins. He had trouble at times with his slider against the Orioles (23-17), but his sinker had plenty of life, as the Padres turned critical double plays in the second and fifth innings.

"They've got a great lineup, so you've got to make your pitches," Marquis said. "Some days you're not going to feel as good as others, but you've still got to make pitches in a big situation.

"It was huge [that] the defense picked me up. I tried to force them to hit the top of the ball."

Marquis allowed two runs on seven hits and four walks over five-plus innings. He allowed the first two hitters in the sixth to reach, but reliever Dale Thayer ran through the next three batters quickly to preserve what was a 5-2 advantage.

But the story was the offense, as each of the nine players in the lineup had hits -- notable hits, too. Like left-handed hitting Will Venable, who had an RBI double off left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland in the fourth. And Blanks, who had a solo home run earlier in the inning.

"[The pitching was] not quite as crisp. We just didn't pitch well today. It wasn't just Freddy. They hit a lot of balls hard, too. They came in here and swung the bats well," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter.

Then there was Amarista, who hit a home run earlier on this road trip against the Rays. He reached base on doubles in the second and fourth innings before sending a pitch over the wall in center in the seventh inning.

"Anytime you have an opportunity to produce, you've got to do it," Amarista said with the help of an interpreter.

Baker knows this better than anyone. As the backup catcher on the roster, he doesn't play much. Which means his hits are few and far between. In this case, he entered the game in a 0-for-19 funk.

Later this month, when catcher Yasmani Grandal is eligible to come off the restricted list after a 50-game suspension, Baker will likely be the odd man out.

"It gets tough to think about what's going to happen in a couple of weeks," Baker said. "But that's why every game I get to play in is an opportunity to do something well."

And he did it against a familiar face in Garcia, who spent nearly the entire spring in Padres camp on a Minor League contract, trying to win a job in the rotation. Baker caught Garcia several times in games and many more times during daily bullpen sessions.

So when Baker got a scouting report on Garcia, it only confirmed what he already knew.

"I always give credit to the scouting reports we get. But he's [Garcia] a little more likely to go with the offspeed stuff when guys get on," Baker said. "You've got to be prepared to stay back [on the pitch]."

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