Courtesy of Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles fall in Oakland series finale

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There was  nobody happier to leave Oakland and to be done with the Oakland A’s – for now – than the Baltimore Orioles. The two teams may well meet again if they end up in the postseason, however that’s a long ways away and it’s not worth discussing at the moment. However nary was there a moment in the series finale where it felt like the O’s were in the game or had a shot to win. Kevin Gausman was unable to produce his “good stuff,” although he didn’t get hammered either. Gausman’s line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

Gausman may well have been the victim of a few broken bat hits and a few deep liners where Oakland managed to split the outfielders, however his command was off as well. The O’s found themselves in an early 2-0 hole when Coco Crisp led off with a single in the first, and was followed by a John Jason RBI-triple. Jaso would later score on a Gausman wild pitch. The triple is an interesting product of the ballpark in which Oakland plays. It’s definitely a pitcher’s park with the large fields of real estate in the outfield and in foul territory. However a hidden element that helps offenses is that due to the amount of space out there, singles and doubles can often turn into triples.

Adam Jones made a bit of a hiccup in the third, which may or may not have netted Oakland another run. With Yoenis Cespedes on third and one out, Josh Donaldson hit a pop fly to medium-depth center. Jones appeared to forget the number of outs, and started heading for the dugout…while Cespedes proceeded to score and run Oakland’s lead to 3-0. It was a mental mistake and it made Jones, an all-star mind you, look somewhat aloof, however my personal opinion was that the run was going to score anyways. That’s certainly debatable, however that’s my view. Oakland would also tack a fourth run on an inning later on a Jason RBI-single on a dying quail.

The O’s were unable to register a hit against Oakland starter Sonny Gray until the fifth inning. Following a Chris Davis walk, J.J. Hardy smacked one all the way to the wall, scoring Davis. However the Birds were unable to continue the inning and crawl back into the game. For this, Oakland would make them pay with a three-run fifth. Vogt’s RBI-double would score one, and a second run would cross on Manny Machado‘s throwing error. Sogard would register an RBI-ground out, and the route was officially on at 7-1.

Josh Donaldson would add an RBI-single in the last of the sixth, as would Gentry – a two-RBI single at that. Manny Machado would redeem himself in a sense with an RBI-single in the seventh which scored Nelson Cruz, running the final score to 10-2.

As I said, the O’s are probably very happy to leave and be done with Oakland yesterday. Even in Saturday’s game which the Baltimore Orioles won, it seemed like Oakland was always a step ahead of them in some manner. Not only that, but their hitters were about as good as it gets in terms of getting on base with softly hit balls (many on broken bats) placed exactly where the Orioles were not. That’s how you win games; heck, keep in mind that the O’s defeated Washington a couple of weeks ago on an extra-inning rally that was started by a Nelson Cruz broken bat single. That’s part of the game.

The Orioles will now head down the “Cali” coast to Anaheim, for a three-game set. Bud Norris will be recalled from the minors to make the start tonight, which means that the O’s will have to make a roster move. (I suspect they’ll option a reliever.) Norris will be opposed by Matt Shoemaker – note that game time is 10 PM.

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