Back-To-Back Homers Power Orioles Past A’s
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Nick Markakis and Adam Jones hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, Chris Tillman pitched six innings for his first win of the season and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Saturday.
Nate McLouth also homered for Baltimore, which is 3-0 on its 11-game road trip and in position for its first four-game sweep in Oakland since 1987.
Tillman scattered seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. He also had to bat in the seventh inning after an injury to catcher Taylor Teagarden forced the Orioles to abandon their DH.
Josh Donaldson matched his career high with four hits and two RBIs. The A’s have lost four straight and eight of nine.
McLouth finished with three hits and two RBIs to spearhead Baltimore’s offense.
The Orioles have outscored the A’s 20-5 while taking the first three games of this series. They’ve also had three solid outings from their starting pitchers.
Tillman (1-1) settled down after a rocky start to earn his first win since Sept. 28. The right-hander, who was 9-3 a year ago, retired eight of his last 10 batters and picked off Donaldson at first in the sixth after the A’s third baseman led off the inning with a single.
That gave Baltimore’s bullpen a break and followed stellar starts by Jason Hammel and Wei-In Chen.
Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day, Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson pitched the final three innings to complete the Orioles eighth win in their last 10 games. Johnson pitched out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in the ninth for his 10th save
Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (2-2) allowed only five hits in seven innings but gave up two home runs for the second straight start.
The A’s dropped their fourth straight and fell to 0-10 when held to under four runs.
Tillman got off to a slow start but limited the damage.
Donaldson doubled in Brandon Moss in the second, then drove in Seth Smith in the third with a sharp comebacker that appeared to ricochet off Tillman’s heel and into the air behind second base.
Markakis tied it with his two-run home run on a 1-2 pitch, then Jones put the Orioles up 3-2 with his line drive over the wall in left-center. It’s the first time this season Baltimore has hit back-to-back homers.
J.J. Hardy’s hit-and-run single later in the inning scored Chris Davis from first base to make it 4-2.
The game was halted briefly in the bottom of the sixth when Teagarden left with a dislocated left thumb after getting hit in the hand by a foul ball. Teagarden was replaced by Matt Wieters, who was originally in the lineup as a DH.
The change forced Tillman to bat for just the second time in his career, and the right-hander struck out looking to end the seventh.
McLouth led off the eighth with his first home run of the season, then Davis had a sacrifice fly to drive in Manny Machado.
Ryan Flaherty added an RBI double in the ninth.
The A’s scored once in the eighth on Josh Reddick’s sacrifice fly then loaded the bases in the ninth. But Johnson got Smith to fly out before Jed Lowrie grounded into a game-ending double play.
NOTES: The A’s honored their 1973 World Series championship team during pregame ceremonies. Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Rollie Fingers were among the former players who took part. … Baltimore INF Brian Roberts (hamstring) has resumed running but there is still no timetable for his return from the disabled list. … Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez (2-1) makes his first career start against the A’s in the series finale. He’ll oppose RHP Bartolo Colon (3-0), whose 32-inning streak without a walk ended in his most recent outing against Boston.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)