The Oakland A’s haven’t been scoring. Maybe they left their energy at the home of their neighbors, the Golden State Warriors.
While Oracle Arena, which is right next to Oakland’s O.co Coliseum, rocked as the Warriors took on the Nuggets, the A’s couldn’t bring any life into their tilt with the Orioles. Oakland lost its third straight game and suffered its seventh loss in eight games. Now, the A’s are 13-11 and currently in second place in the AL West, 3.5 games behind the red-hot Rangers.
Tommy Milone performed well for the A’s, but he gave up a critical run in the seventh inning and took the loss due to lack of run support. J.J. Hardy lined a single on a high, outside pitch into right-center field and advanced to second on an error by Josh Reddick, setting the Orioles up to do some damage. Steve Pearce hit a ground ball into the hole in left field to score Hardy with one out, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish.
Wei-Yin Chen made sure the Orioles would hold on to this lead by absolutely carving up Oakland’s hopeless offense, as he gave up two hits in eight innings. Jim Johnson was sharp in the ninth inning, and he made Reddick look terrible on a strikeout of him for the second out. Jed Lowrie, who made a crucial error in the ninth inning, reached on a bloop hit in the ninth, but Josh Donaldson grounded out to end the game. Johnson is now tied for the most saves in the league with nine, as he finished off another Baltimore win.
Johnson got some insurance in the top of the ninth to help him. Nate McLouth hit into a fielders’ choice in the ninth inning, one that could have turned into a double play. Lowrie, however, bobbled the ball, allowing everyone to reach and allowing a run to score. Nick Markakis hit a sacrifice fly to score Chris Dickerson after the error, capping off the scoring for the Orioles.
And the A’s? They now have two runs in this series, continuing a drought from their Tampa Bay series. The A’s have been able to muster some runs on offense, but it hasn’t been enough. As a result, they are going to split with the Orioles at best, and they have a bit of a hole to climb out of in the division. It’s early on, but this cold streak has to be alarming to A’s fans.
Why? Because when you score no runs and finish with three hits (including one bloop hit), it always raises concerns about the offense.