The A’s opened up a four-game series against the Orioles Monday night at beautiful Camden Yards in Baltimore. Lefty J.P. Sears (0-0) got the start for the A’s against O’s righty Kyle Gibson (2-0).
The A’s got on the board first against Gibson when Aledmys Diaz walked. Then on the 12th pitch of his at-bat, Ramon Laureano tripled to the right field corner scoring Diaz. Laureano’s RBI broke the A’s 18 inning scoreless streak, and they jumped ahead 1-0.
The A’s could not hold the lead for long when in the bottom of the first inning, Cedric Mullins walked and stole second. He continued to third on a fielding error by Tony Kemp. Ryan Mountcastle then deposited the second pitch of the at-bat to deep left field for his third homer of the year. That gave the O’s a 2-1 lead at the end of one.
Conner Capel got his first extra-base hit of the season with a one out double in the second inning but was stranded as the inning ended.
Switch-hitting sophomore Adley Rutschman rocked at 399-foot home run with one down in the bottom of the third inning, bringing the Oriole’s lead to 3-1. Sears settled in and did not give up another run before he was removed in the bottom of the sixth inning for Jeurys Familia. Familia disposed of the first two batters quickly, but Austin Hayes sent a full-count sinker into the centerfield stands for a homer, bringing the score to 4-1.
Jace Peterson dropped a blooper in between three defenders for a double to lead off the seventh inning. He moved to third on a Gibson wild pitch. But then Bryan Baker replaced Gibson after 6 1/3 innings and got Conner Capel and Shea Langeliers to both strike out swinging stranding Peterson at third
Esteury Ruiz led off the eighth with a single. Jesus Aguilar pinch hit for Ryan Noda and promptly singled to center field. But O’s reliever Cionel Perez got the next two A’s batters to end the threat. Domingo Acevedo gave up a double to Austin Hayes in the bottom of the eighth and Ramon Urias drove him in with a bloop single, bringing the score to 5-1.
Orioles closer Felix Bautista came in to shut down the A’s in the ninth despite the game not being a save situation. The 6-foot 8-inch Bautista was mixing his flaming (read: 100-101 mph) fastball and splitter to keep the A’s hitters off balance. He struck out the side ending the game at 5-1.
Despite outhitting the Orioles eight hits to five; the A’s were 0-11 with runners in scoring position. Today’s game brought the A’s losing streak to five games.
Kevin Smith made his first start of the year but went hitless in his 2023 debut. The 2-8 A’s will take on the 5-5 Orioles tomorrow at 3:35 p.m. PDT.