Any bits of optimism that fans took away from the Oakland Athletics near-win on Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox were quickly forgotten Thursday night, as the Baltimore Orioles beat the A’s handily by a final score of 10-2. Oakland is now 13-10 after a promising 12-4 start that matched their best opening to a season since 1990.
The A’s offense fell off once again after taking an early lead, and Jarrod Parker gave up six runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings to fall to 0-4 on the season. Oakland never got into a groove at the plate against Jason Hammel, and they finished the game with six hits to Baltimore’s 15.
Josh Donaldson put the A’s ahead in the bottom of the second on a two-run double to center field that eluded the glove of Adam Jones. The Orioles answered immediately, however, putting three runs on the board in the top of the third to take a lead they would never relinquish. A’s pitching coach Curt Young was ejected after arguing that Nolan Reimold went around on a check swing, and replays appeared to prove his point, which was not inconsequential considering that Reimold doubled following the missed call to put the wheels in motion for Baltimore’s offense.
The Orioles added one more on a sacrifice fly from Nick Markakis in the top of the fifth, and Parker faded in the sixth, giving up a leadoff home run to Chris Davis and allowing a single to Matt Wieters, followed by a wild pitch to advance him to second and a walk to J.J. Hardy before Bob Melvin went to Chris Resop in the bullpen. Resop would give up a walk and an RBI groundout to Nate McLouth before getting out of the inning to make it 6-2.
Resop then loaded the bases to start off the seventh, and Pat Neshek was brought in to limit the damage with no outs. While Neshek did an admirable job, allowing two runs on a sacrifice fly and a RBI single before retiring the side, the 8-2 lead would prove to be insurmountable for Oakland as their offense went absolutely ice cold in the middle innings.
Baltimore added two more in an ugly eighth inning for the A’s, and Brandon Moss’s throw behind Jesse Chavez at first allowed the final run to score essentially summed up the night for the Green and Gold.
The A’s return to action with Tommy Milone on the mound tomorrow night, and he’ll look to right the ship against Wei-Yin Chen for the Orioles.