Donaldson’s HR Tops Machado, A’s Stun O’s 5-4
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Manny Machado silenced the boos in Oakland with one swing. Josh Donaldson ignited the roars with another.
And just like that, Machado’s moment of revenge evaporated.
Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to eclipse Machado’s go-ahead shot, sending the A’s to a stunning 5-4 comeback victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
“The booing is part of the game and I have to get used to it,” Machado said. “You have to be able to block it out. You just try and channel your energy to do well. I have to gain everyone’s respect back from everyone that I let down.”
Donaldson’s drive over the wall in center field on a sinker from Zach Britton (3-2) sent the A’s streaming out of the dugout in front of an announced crowd of 27,232 at the Coliseum.
It was the All-Star third baseman’s 21st homer of the season, fifth career game-ending hit, and third career game-ending homer — including the second this season.
But this one was even sweeter for Donaldson and the A’s because it swiped the spotlight from Machado, who hit a two-run homer in the seventh after creating an even bigger stir with his bat the last time he faced Oakland.
Machado threw his bat near Donaldson at third base during a plate appearance in Oakland’s win at Baltimore last month after reliever Fernando Abad threw consecutive high-and-inside pitches.
Machado was suspended five games and was fined an undisclosed amount. Abad was fined but not suspended.
In the opener of that series, Machado yelled in Donaldson’s face after the third baseman tagged him on the chest, knocking Machado off his feet. The dugouts cleared briefly.
Machado, who also singled in the fifth, said before Friday’s game he has moved on from the incident. A’s manager Bob Melvin also said nobody on his club had even talked about it since.
But fans in Oakland still let their voices be heard. Most in the crowd jeered Machado during pregame introductions, when he ran to his spot at third base and every time he was announced at the plate.
Machado momentarily quieted the hoots and hollers with his 10th homer of the season in the seventh to put the Orioles up 4-2. A fan threw the ball back on the field, and others stood and booed as he rounded the bases.
Machado high-fived teammates back in the dugout. But Donaldson’s drive replaced that celebration with an ever bigger one for Oakland.
“Certainly there’s a little irony involved in the whole thing,” Melvin said.
Donaldson said he sympathized with the boos Machado heard. But he said he tried “not to get caught up in all that jazz” and instead focus on the task at hand.
Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer in the fifth that appeared to be enough for the AL East-leading Orioles. But beating the best team in baseball — especially at home — has never been easy this season.
Eric O’Flaherty (1-0) tossed one scoreless inning for the win as Oakland (60-36) extended the majors’ best record.
John Jaso’s RBI double in the third gave Oakland a 1-0 lead, and Derek Norris’ ninth homer in the fifth tied it 2-2. That was all the A’s could muster out of Chris Tillman the first 6 2-3 innings.
Jeff Samardzija looked ready to lose his second straight solid start after winning his debut for the A’s, who acquired him in a trade with Jason Hammel from the Cubs on July 4. He gave up six hits — including the two homers — in seven innings.
Baltimore had retired 10 straight batters until two-time reigning Home Run Derby champion Yoenis Cespedes singled leading off the ninth. Brandon Moss followed with another single before Donaldson’s homer handed Britton his third blown save in 18 opportunities this season and gave the A’s another memorable victory in a season already full of them.
NOTES: Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, on the disabled list since July 11 with a sprained right ankle, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday and could make a rehabilitation start in the minors in the middle of next week. … RHP Jason Hammel (0-1, 3.60 ERA) starts for the A’s opposite Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen (9-3, 4.15 ERA) on Saturday.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)