The Oakland A’s lost today, falling in walkoff fashion to the Baltimore Orioles by a final of 8-7.
It was a spot starter today as Adam Oller made his first start of the season. Oakland staked him to an early lead when Esteury Ruiz led off the game with a double and came around to score on a pair of sac flies. Oller gave the A’s a nice 1-2-3 shutdown inning with a pair of strikeouts in the first.
And then it all went downhill for Oller from there. Baltimore strung together three singles (with a HBP mixed in there) to score three runs in the second. Baltimore had taken the lead.
The A’s struck right back. With two runners on, outfielder Brent Rooker came to the plate and took advantage of a ball right in the sweet part of the zone:
That bomb to straight away center was Rooker’s second home run in as many days, and he wouldn’t stop there. But more on that later.
Oakland had retaken the lead but things continued to go wrong on the other side of the ball. Oller couldn’t regain his footing after being regiven the lead. A leadoff home run for the O’s tied the game up, and then Baltimore strung together three hits and a walk with a pair of productive outs. When all was said and done, they’d scored 4 times in the bottom of the third and it was a 7-4 ballgame after just three innings. Oller couldn’t even finish the inning as Mark Kotsay turned to Adrian Martinez, who got the final out and got the A’s out of that disaster of an inning.
As was the theme from today’s game though, Oakland came right back with some scoring of their own. A single and a pair of walks loaded the bases for Ruiz and he came through for the good guys with a 2-run single:
That 2-run knock cut into Baltimore’s lead and we had a ballgame. That was the second of three hits from Ruiz today, a first for the rookie center fielder. He’s now hitting .300, which yes it’s early but still good to see.
Things finally started going the A’s way on the mound too, as Martinez fired off 3 ⅔ shutout innings for the Green & Gold. He also racked up 5 K’s along the way.
And now we get back to Rooker. The former 1st-round pick came up to bat to lead off the fifth and did damage on the second pitch he saw, swatting his second home run of the day but this time to left field:
For those counting at home, that’s three home runs in two days. Rooker hasn’t had the greatest start to his career in the big leagues bouncing around several organizations, but he’s taking an early advantage of his time here in Oakland. His line now stands at .333/.375/.762 and we could see him in the lineup on a more regular basis moving forward.
Righty Dany Jimenez came out of the bullpen for the seventh inning and had a scoreless appearance with just one hit allowed. Then it was Zach Jackson’s turn in the eighth.
The first two Orioles singled against Jackson and a passed ball put two runners in scoring position with no outs, then he fell behind the third batter 3-0. Very dangerous and it would’ve taken a sprinkle of magic to wiggle out unscored upon. Well he had some fairy dust in his pocket as Jackson induced an infield fly then a light flyout to Ramon Laureano in right. The runner on third must not have heard of Laser Ramon but he learned today:
That double play got Oakland out of the inning and into the ninth all tied up. Oakland couldn’t do anything with their chance, but Baltimore did as Trevor May’s second pitch in the ninth was belted to right center field for a walkoff homerun for the Orioles.
That wasn’t a great road trip. The A’s were swept by the Rays and lost 3 out of 4 to the Oriolesfor a 1-7 East coast trek. The pitching was tough to watch but on the bright side the bats woke up in Baltimore and the team is finally heading home. It’s not going to get any easier for the squad though as they’ll face the New York Mets tomorrow night. It’ll be righty James Kaprielian facing off against former Japanese star Kodai Senga at the Coliseum. Let’s hope things turn around on the home field.