Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Nick Markakis capped a three-run rally in the
seventh inning with an RBI single that lifted the Baltimore Orioles to a 9-7
win over the visiting Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game set
between playoff contenders.
Nate McLouth's leadoff walk helped set the stage for Baltimore, which closed
to within two games of the A's for the second wild-card spot in the American
Ryan Cook (5-3) replaced Jesse Chavez following the free pass to McLouth.
Chavez didn't allow a hit over 2 2/3 innings in relief of starter Dan Straily,
who is winless in his last seven outings (0-5).
Manny Machado greeted Cook with a single and McLouth scored when Chris Davis
hit a one-hopper off the glove of Eric Sogard. The second baseman had given
Oakland a 7-6 lead with a two-run single in the fifth.
Machado went to third on the error and scored the go-ahead run on Adam Jones'
dribbler down the third-base line. After Matt Wieters legged out a slow roller
to third, Markakis plated Davis with a base hit to center field.
Tommy Hunter pitched around a Coco Crisp single in the top of the eighth and
Jim Johnson, with the help of a stellar defensive play by Machado at third
base, tossed a perfect ninth for his 40th save of the season. The Baltimore
closer had blown his previous three save opportunities.
The O's scored in only one other inning, with Brian Roberts supplying a grand
slam in a six-run fourth.
Baltimore starter Bud Norris allowed seven runs on nine hits and three walks
in 4 2/3 innings, while Francisco Rodriguez (2-0) was credited with the win
after retiring the A's in order in the top of the seventh.
Crisp finished with four hits for the Athletics, who have dropped three in a
row to fall 3 1/2 games back of first-place Texas in the AL West.
Brandon Moss singled home Crisp with two outs in the first. Crisp and Moss
both took Norris deep in the third for a 3-0 Oakland lead.
Straily held the Orioles hitless through three innings before being chased in
Jones followed a leadoff walk by Davis with a home run to right field.
Baltimore eventually loaded the bases and Roberts cleared them with a drive to
right for his sixth career grand slam.
Norris, however, failed to protect his newfound lead as the A's countered with
a four-spot in the fifth to move back in front.
Jed Lowrie doubled home Crisp and scored on a Josh Donaldson single. After
Moss lined into a double play, Norris issued two walks around a Seth Smith
single. Troy Patton inherited the bases-loaded situation and surrendered the
hit by Sogard. Crisp popped out with the bags full again to end the frame.
Johnson became the first Oriole to record multiple seasons of 40-plus saves
... Moss now has 21 homers this season, matching his career high from 2012 ...
The A's placed catcher Derek Norris on the 15-day disabled list with a
fractured left big toe and found a replacement in a familiar face, bringing
back Kurt Suzuki in a trade with Washington. Suzuki spent six seasons with
Oakland before being dealt to the Nationals more than a year ago ... The
Orioles outscored the A's 28-14 while taking three of four in Oakland from
April 25-28 ... Norris went 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA in three starts against
Oakland with the Astros this season.
The Sports Network