The Orioles followed up Friday night’s heartbreaker with a frustrating 6-1 loss to the Oakland A’s Saturday night at Camden Yards. Friday, they couldn’t stop the A’s. And while there were certainly similar moments Saturday night, it was the Orioles’ inability to deliver the big hit that took the wind out of their sails.
Tommy Hunter’s inconsistencies reappeared after back-to-back quality starts. The waited until the fourth inning to show up, though, and by that time, his teammates had already stranded four runners on. Nick Markakis led off the first with a single, and Chris Davis walked one out later. But A’s starter Bartolo Colon (W, 7-8) fanned got both Adam Jones and Wilson Betemit on fly outs. In the second, Omar Quintanilla doubled with two outs, but could not score. A Chris Davis single with two outs in the third went for naught.
One of the A’s heroes from Friday, light hitting Jemile Weeks, led off the A’s fourth with a single. One out later, he scored on Yoenis Cespedes’ 14th home run of the year, and the A’s led 2-0. The birds collected hits from Endy Chavez and Quintanilla in their half of the fourth, but again, could not push any runs across. And while the Orioles continued to fail to deliver the big hits, every hit the A’s collected seemed to be just that—a big hit.
In the fifth, Kurt Suzuki doubled with one out. One pitch later, Eric Sogard’s base hit scored him, making it 3-0.
Seth Smith led off the sixth with a hit. One out later, Chris Carter took Hunter (L, 4-6) deep for a 5-0 Oakland lead.
Betemit and Mark Reynolds singled in the sixth, but A’s reliever Jordan Norberto struck out Quintanilla to end another threat.
Taylor Teagarden led off the seventh by reaching on Brandon Inge’s error. Davis delivered another hit two outs later, but yet again, the big hit was elusive.
The A’s tacked on another run on the eighth, thanks again to the Weeks/Cespedes duo. Cespedes’ triple plated Weeks, who’d led off with a single.
The Orioles did manage to break up the shutout when Markakis homered in the ninth, a shot that was more like the board-game version parting gift given to a sad game show loser.
The O’s and A’s wrap up the three game set Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards. Wei-Yin Chen (8-6, 3.82) faces Travis Buckley (3-2, 3.15). First pitch is scheduled for 1:35.
- A good game from Chris Davis, again. Despite two strikeouts, Davis went 2/4 with a walk, and he was the only Oriole who didn’t leave anyone on base.
- Kevin Gregg threw one scoreless inning, giving up two hits and striking out two.
- Orioles pitchers struck out 13 A’s batters, and walked only one. Rare, indeed, do those kinds of number come from the losing team.
- Quintanilla picked up two more hits Saturday, raising his average to .364 with the Orioles. He did leave 3 men on base, but he made another nice play defensively.
- More home run trouble from Hunter, who’s now given up 24.
- Adam Jones had one of his worst nights of the year: 0/4 with a strikeout and five runners left on.
- Overall, the Orioles were 0/6 with runners in scoring position, and left 11 runners on.
- Orioles batters walked once. They struck out nine times.
- Miguel Socolovich was optioned after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for Lew Ford, who’s expected to get the call in time for Sunday’s game. Socolovich followed up Friday night’s poor outing with a much better one Saturday (2.2IP, 2H, 1ER, 3K), which lowered his ERA to 9.00.