The Oakland A’s (17-12) dropped two of three in the weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles as both team battled in tightly contested games.
After these teams played last weekend, the Oakland A’s looked to exact revenge on the team that snapped their 13-game win streak. But Baltimore flipped the script on Oakland as they won two of three in the weekend series.
Game 1: Baltimore Orioles 3, Oakland A’s 2
The Orioles used some early offense to fend off the Athletics in a 3-2 victory Friday evening as John Means pitched a solid game for Baltimore in the win.
While Friday evening saw a low scoring affair between the two clubs, it was a battle of pitching and bullpens.
Oakland scored on Means early as they led off with a solo homer in the bottom of the second, and despite getting a walk the next at-bat did not further capitalize on the momentum.
Baltimore however responded with two runs in the top of the third off Mike Fiers as back-to-back bombs gave the Orioles the slim 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth Baltimore led off with a single, proceeded with a double and grounded out to produce another run to extend their lead to 3-1.
The Oakland offense after the early run stalled as they managed one hit while striking out six times in the later frames. It was not until the bottom of the seventh that the A’s got some more offense as Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer to make it 3-2, which was the eventual final.
While Fiers pitched a remarkable game—6.0 innings pitched, six hits, three earned runs, two walks and three K’s—he was simply outdone by a better Baltimore starter in Means.
While Oakland managed two runs on three hits off Means the bats only hit another two off the Baltimore bullpen.
Game 2: Baltimore Orioles 8, Oakland A’s 4
The Orioles took game two of the weekend series as a six-run top of the third proved just enough for Baltimore to beat Oakland 8-4 Saturday night.
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Baltimore once again score majority of their runs early and used the pitching to hold the lead to win the game, but also thanks in part to an error. As Baltimore got the leadoff man aboard due to the error the offense started to hit as a single, a walk and three straight singles plated four runs for the Orioles. A one-out sac fly and a wild pitch gave Baltimore two more runs to claim a huge 6-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth Baltimore hit a two-run homer to swell the lead to 8-0. But Oakland rallied with the two outs in the home sixth as a Matt Chapman single followed by a Seth Brown double gave the A’s their first run of the game. Tony Kemp singled home another run to shrink the deficit to 8-2.
Mark Canha led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo bomb to make it 8-3. Ramon Laureano also hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to make it 8-4. But the lead proved insurmountable as Oakland dropped game two 8-4.
The offense rallied late for Oakland as they tallied six of their eight total hits in the sixth inning and beyond. While they outscored Baltimore in the latter innings, as well as, out hit them— the early offense from Baltimore proved crucial.
Game 3: Oakland A’s 7, Baltimore Orioles 5
The Athletics bombarded the Orioles as they blasted three homers to win game three of the weekend series.
With an RBI single from Matt Olson and Jed Lowrie, Oakland established a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.Baltimore responded in the top of the second as a two-out single shrunk the Oakland lead 2-1, and tied it in the top of the third with a solo bomb.
Olson launched a two-run homer off the batters eye, ironically as he sported a black eye himself due to a ball he hit ricocheted off the pitching screen back into his face on Friday, which gave the A’s a 4-2 lead.
In the top of the fifth with two outs, Baltimore rallied behind two singles to tie the game 4-4. Soon the Orioles took the lead in the top of the seventh with a two-out single.
Oakland however rallied in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game as Lowrie singled with two outs. The Athletics took the lead in the next inning with a two-run homer from Laureano that made it 7-5, which was the eventual final as Oakland avoided the sweep.
After the A’s dropped the last game in the previous weekend series that snapped the 13-game win streak, Oakland has faltered since. With a 3-4 record since, the Athletics claim a one-game lead over Seattle but head into a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays and a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
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