BALTIMORE (AP) — Brian Roberts hit a grand slam, Adam Jones homered and had three RBIs, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Oakland Athletics 9-7 Friday night to gain ground in the wild-card race.
Roberts and Jones connected in a six-run fourth inning that put Baltimore up 6-3. After Oakland rallied to take the lead, Jones drove in the go-ahead run during a three-run seventh.
The victory moved the Orioles past Cleveland into third place in the wild-card hunt. Tampa Bay is on top and Baltimore now stands two games behind Oakland. The top two teams make the playoffs.
Coco Crisp homered, had a career-high tying four hits and scored three runs for the A’s, who have lost four of six and are 15-17 since the All-Star break.
In the Baltimore seventh, Jesse Chavez walked Nate McLouth and was replaced by Ryan Cook (5-3). A single by Manny Machado put runners at the corners, and McLouth scored when second baseman Eric Sogard misplayed a grounder by Chris Davis. Jones followed with a run-scoring groundout and Nick Markakis capped the uprising with an RBI single.
Francisco Rodriguez (2-0) got the win and Jim Johnson, the fourth Baltimore reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 40th save. He had blown his previous three attempts at No. 40.
The victory assured the Orioles their first season series win over Oakland since 1998. They’ve won four of five with two to play.
Making his fifth start for Baltimore since coming in a trade with Houston, Bud Norris yielded seven runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. In four appearances against Oakland this season, he’s 0-3 with a 9.35 ERA.
A’s starter Dan Straily allowed six runs, four hits and four walks in 3 1-3 innings. Although he walked off the mound with the A’s trailing 6-3, the right-hander avoided losing his sixth straight decision when Oakland took the lead with a four-run fifth.
Crisp led off the fifth with a single and scored on a double by Jed Lowrie, who came home on a single by Josh Donaldson. Following a double play, two walks and a single loaded the bases and ended Norris’ night. Troy Patton then gave up a two-run single to Sogard.
Oakland got a first-inning run when Crisp led off with a single and scored on a two-out single by Moss.
Crisp and Brandon Moss hit solo shots to right field in the third, even though Norris struck out the side. It was the 12th homer of the season for Crisp, the second in two games after a run of 18 games without one.
At that point, the A’s were sailing. Then came the Baltimore fourth inning.
Davis drew a walk and Jones followed with an opposite-field drive to right. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Roberts, who hit a high fly to right that plopped onto the flag court beyond the 25-foot scoreboard for his sixth career grand slam, the first since 2009.
NOTES: Straily has allowed 11 homers in his last 11 starts . … The A’s acquired C Kurt Suzuki in a trade with Washington. Suzuki fills the void left by the absence of John Jaso (concussion) and Derek Norris (broken toe). … Baltimore sold minor league pitcher Freddy Garcia to Atlanta. … Oakland RF Josh Reddick (wrist) took full batting practice Friday and returns Saturday. … A’s OF Seth Smith was back in the lineup for the first time in almost a week because of an astigmatism.
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