Hernandez, signed to a $27.5 million, four-year contract last winter, hit a three-run homer and a grand slam Tuesday night - the latter in a nine-run ninth inning that finished off the Seattle Mariners in a 14-4 victory.
Hernandez matched his career high with seven RBI, accomplished twice before, in leading the Orioles to their second win in 10 road games. It was his fourth career two-homer game. Corey Patterson reached safely six times while homering and doubling twice, ending Seattle's season-high four-game winning streak.
Hernandez, a career .262 hitter in seven previous seasons with San Diego and Oakland, is batting .316 with 36 RBI in his first 42 games with the Orioles.
The catcher is apparently so dedicated to his new team, he was away lifting weights 45 minutes after the game after all of his teammates had changed and filed out of the clubhouse for the night.
"Ramon's been outstanding all year long," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "He really has been great -- on both sides of the field."
It was Hernandez's fourth career slam and first since Sept. 27, 2005, with the Padres against San Francisco. He had seven RBI in that game and on Aug. 9, 2003, with the Athletics at the Chicago White Sox.
Patterson's two doubles and a long home run in the fifth inning all came off Pineiro (4-5), who allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in another poor outing. Pineiro has allowed at least five earned runs in each of his last three starts and five times overall.
Patterson is hitting .344 (33-for-96) since going 1-for-15 to begin the season.
Pineiro said it was obvious during Baltimore's four-run first inning that he had no life on his fastball, so Patterson, Hernandez and friends attacked his off-speed pitches.
"I let my team and myself down, after the way we've been playing," Pineiro said.
Orioles emergency starter John Halama didn't. The 34-year-old lefty, filling in after rookie Hayden Penn had an appendectomy Monday night, allowed four hits and two runs over five innings in his first start since Sept. 7. Halama (3-1), a former Mariner, earned his first win as a starter since Oct. 3, 2004, with Tampa Bay at Detroit.
He hadn't thrown more than 50 pitches in any game this season before firing 67 effective ones at his former team.
"I'm not going to sit here and tell you I wasn't tired. It caught up to me," Halama said. "I didn't want to jeopardize the bullpen."
Before the game, Perlozzo said Adam Loewen, who made a brief major league debut Tuesday after being called up from Double-A Bowie, was the likely starter on Sunday at the Los Angeles Angels. But that was before Halama's crafty work.
"I don't know. We're going to have to discuss that," Perlozzo said after the game.
Loewen, who arrived from a game in Altoona, Pa., eight hours before Tuesday's first pitch, relieved Halama to begin the sixth. His first major league pitch skidded to the backstop. But he rallied to freeze cleanup batter Richie Sexson as strike three crossed the inside corner.
LaTroy Hawkins entered in the eighth and gave up an RBI triple to Adrian Beltre that made it 5-4. But Johjima and pinch-hitter Roberto Petagine popped out before Chris Ray fanned pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed to end the threat.
"That last at-bat is something I'm regretting right now," Johjima said through a translator.
Baltimore then scored nine times off J.J. Putz and Woods. Rookie Nick Markakis had his third hit and second RBI, a run-scoring double. Kevin Millar, Brandon Fahey and Javy Lopez had RBI singles. Then came Hernandez's grand ending.
Ray got four outs for his 11th save in 11 chances. He laughed and said he's never had a 10-run save.
- Orioles RF Jay Gibbons missed the game after the death of his mother in Southern California on Tuesday morning. The team is not sure whether Gibbons will go on the bereavement list. Perlozzo said Gibbons told him late Tuesday afternoon he will try to play Wednesday.
- Suzuki had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, longest in the AL this season.