OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — J.J. Hardy is in his first season with Baltimore and already has a pretty good idea why the Orioles have struggled in Oakland the last few years.
Hardy hit a deep flyball to center that died at the warning track in the fifth inning, one of several Baltimore threats that ended with a whimper during the Orioles’ 4-2 loss to the Athletics on Saturday night.
“It could be a little thing where we just don’t feel comfortable here,” said Hardy, who signed with Baltimore after six seasons with Milwaukee. “I don’t know what it was like in the past, but I believe in that, that there’s teams that play well in certain places and teams that you just don’t play well against. They have some good pitching in a big park and then they can manufacture runs and play a little smallball.”
That’s exactly what the A’s did, scoring three of their four runs with two outs. That followed the pattern set a day earlier when the Orioles surrendered five runs with two outs.
Conversely, Baltimore did not get a runner past first base after leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and was held to six hits for a second straight day.
“This has always been, this time of year, an unfriendly place but we had some opportunities and we just couldn’t take advantage of it,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We’re stringing together some good at-bats, but at some point we have to make them pay for it and we haven’t done that. ”
Coco Crisp had two hits and drove in the go-ahead run for Oakland, which has won 11 of 12 at home against Baltimore. The A’s have also won 19 of the last 23 at the Coliseum against the Orioles.
Mark Ellis hit a home run and Josh Willingham and Kevin Kouzmanoff also drove in runs for the A’s, who have won four of their last five following a season-high six-game losing streak.
Adam Jones and Craig Tatum each drove in runs for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of their last 12 in Oakland.
Josh Outman, in his second start since returning to the majors for the first time in two years, allowed two runs and six hits over six innings. He walked five.
Outman (1-0) earned his first major league victory since June 8, 2009, against the Minnesota Twins.
Brad Bergesen (1-6) allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.
“I felt all right and I made some good pitches tonight,”Bergesen said. “I wanted to be able to put that one away and just wasn’t able to do it at the end. It was tough. There were times I felt really good.”
Joey Devine, Grant Balfour each pitched a scoreless inning and Brian Fuentes got the final three outs for his 10th save in 12 chances.
Fuentes recorded his first save in his first save opportunitysince May 8.
Crisp, Ellis, Kouzmanoff and Cliff Pennington each had two hits for the A’s, who recorded double-digits in hits for the third consecutive game for just the second time this season.
Ellis ended a 50-game homerless streak with his solo shot in the eighth, making it 4-2.
Crisp put the A’s ahead with a two-out RBI single in the sixth.
The A’s scored two of their runs with two outs and have scored seven of their last 10 runs with two outs.
Vladimir Guerrero singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Nick Markakis went 0-for-4 and had his 12-game streak snapped.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)