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O's open game in historic way with three jacks

O's open game in historic way with three jacks

O's open game in historic way with three jacks play video for O's open game in historic way with three jacks
BALTIMORE -- 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.

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"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
Team Date Players who homered
Padres April 13, 1987 Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn, John Kruk
Braves May 28, 2003 Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa, Gary Sheffield
Brewers Sept. 9, 2007 Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Braun
Orioles 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.

Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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