The Oakland Athletics have been struggling with errors and holding leads in the later innings, and Friday night’s loss at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles did nothing to prove that anything has changed.
Up 7-6 in the seventh, Jesse Chavez, who had pitched 2.2 stellar innings in relief of Dan Straily, walked the leadoff hitter, prompting Bob Melvin to bring in Ryan Cook. After a single put runners at the corners, second baseman Eric Sogard committed an error on a Chris Davis line drive. Instead of a double play, the ball went into the outfield, and a run scored. The Orioles would go on to take a two-run lead later in the inning on an RBI groundout and a single.
It was a crazy game all around, with both teams putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard in several innings.
The A’s jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. After scoring a run in the first inning, Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss hit back-to-back homers in the third, both to right field.
Straily was cruising along after three innings, allowed zero hits through a third of the game. However, the Orioles crooked number in the fourth. A leadoff walk to Chris Davis followed by an Adam Jones home run put the Orioles within a run. Then, after two hits and a walk loaded the bases with one out, Brian Roberts drilled a grand slam to right to give the Orioles a sudden 6-3 lead.
Straily’s night was over after that, allowing six runs on just four hits in 3.1 innings, with all the damage done on two home runs.
However, the A’s came right back against Orioles’ starter Bud Norris in the very next inning, batting around to regain the lead. Three straight hits led of the inning and plated two runs. Then with two out and the bases empty, two walks and a single loaded the bases for Eric Sogard, and also knocked Norris out of game. With Troy Patton in to relieve Norris, Sogard greeted him with a bloop single over the second baseman Roberts, plating two more runs and giving the A’s the lead right back.
But it was a lead they wouldn’t be able to hold, which has been the A’s theme as of late. Tonight, they had two leads, and still blew it.