by Jerry Feitelberg
Oakland – The visiting Baltimore Orioles started the four-game series with a win as they pounded the A’s starting pitcher Chris Smith and won 7-2. Smith went six innings and gave up five runs and seven hits. All of the Oriole hits were for extra bases. He gave up four solo homers, two doubles, and a triple. The Orioles finished the night with ten hits, nine were four extra bases. They hit just one single in the game. The A’s did not have a good night. Their offense was inept as lefty Wade Miley held them to just three hits in seven innings of work. The A’s first run of the game was unearned. They did score a run in the eighth, but the game was well in hand for Baltimore.
The Orioles shortstop, Tim Beckham who was recently acquired by Baltimore in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, led off the first inning with a booming triple that bounced high off the center-field wall. The next hitter, Manny Machado, drove him in when he grounded out. The A’s tied the game in their half of the first. Rajai Davis led off with a single. The O’s pitcher, lefty Wade Miley, appeared to have picked off Rajai. Miley threw to first but the throw to second hit Rajai and went into center-field. Rajai motored to third. Rajai scored on a Jed Lowrie sacrifice fly to right-field. The run was unearned, but it still counted, and the score was 1-1 after one.
The Orioles’ Adam Jones and Trey Mancini hit back-to-back solo homers in the fourth. Jones led with a blast to left-field, and Mancini’s went over the wall in right-field. It was the eighth time this season that O’s hitters have homered back-to-back. The O’s lead 3-1 midway through the fourth.
In the sixth, the O’s continued to pummel the A’s, Chris Smith. With one out, Trey Mancini hit his second homer of the night. This time he hit it into the seats in left-field. The ball left the bat at 111 miles-per-hour and traveled 438 feet. It was Mancini’s fourth career multi-homer game. Mark Trumbo, on the very pitch from Smith, blasted his 18th of the year to give the Orioles a 5-1 advantage. Trumbo broke a 0-for-24 slump with the hit. The back-to-back homers were the ninth time that happened this season and the second time in Thursday night’s contest.
The O’s scored two unearned runs in the seventh. Tim Beckham doubled with one out. Jonathan Schoop reached on a Marcus Semien throwing error, and both scored when Adam Jones doubled.
The A’s scored a run in the eighth. Marcus Semien led off with a single and scored on Jed Lowrie’s second double of the night. For Lowrie, it was his 35th double of the year, and he leads the American League in that department. O’s ahead 7-2.
The A’s loaded the bases with two out in the ninth. With two out, Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in his closer to pitch to Jed Lowrie. Lowrie battled, but Britton got him to fly out to right-field to earn his 10th save of the year.
Game Notes- With the win, Baltimore improved to 57-58 and picked up a game on the Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card spot in the AL. The Orioles had two innings in which they hit back-to-back solo home runs. The homers, in both instances, came on consecutive pitches. The only bright spot for the A’s offense was Jed Lowrie’s two doubles.
The A’s and Orioles go at it again Friday night at the Coliseum. Paul Blackburn (3-1, ERA 2.60) will pitch for the A’s, and the Orioles will have righty Ubaldo Jimenez (5-7, ERA 6.31) on the mound.