OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Miguel Tejada forgot how many outs there
were in one inning and closer Chris Ray committed a throwing error
in the ninth. Both players overcame their miscues to help Baltimore
get a tough road win.
Frank Thomas, who hit his 30th homer Saturday, now has 38 home runs in 438 at-bats vs. Baltimore in his 17-year career; that rate of one homer every 11.5 at-bats is his best against any major-league team that he has faced in 10 or more games. To put that into perspective, The Big Hurt's home run rate against the Orioles is truly better than Ruthian: The Babe averaged one homer every 11.8 at-bats during his career.
Tejada and Chris Gomez drove in two runs apiece and Ray limited
the damage to lead the Orioles over Oakland 6-5 Saturday, snapping
the Athletics' 10-game home winning streak.After Frank Thomas -- who hit a three-run homer in the sixth --
lined out to left in the eighth, Tejada began jogging off the
field. At least six other Orioles joined him, many getting to the
foul line before realizing there were just two outs."I would say that was a group vapor lock," Orioles manager Sam
Perlozzo said. "I just slid my hat down over my face. I've never
seen that many people run off the field at once."Mark Ellis led off the ninth by grounding back to Ray, who
promptly threw the ball away at first, allowing Ellis to reach
second."I was mad for the moment but I realized that run didn't really
matter and I wanted to concentrate on the next three hitters," Ray
said.Ellis moved to third on a groundout and scored on pinch-hitter
Dan Johnson's sacrifice fly. Jason Kendall singled to center, but
Ray struck out Nick Swisher for his 31st save in 34 chances.Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis also drove in runs for the
Orioles. Adam Loewen improved to 3-0 in his last four starts."The offense has been doing a good job all season and it's up
to the pitchers to hold down the other team," Loewen said. "We've
been doing a better job of that lately."Thomas hit his 30th homer of the season, but the A's lost for
the first time at home since Aug. 8. They've still won 10 of 13
overall and are 25-7 since taking over first place in the AL West
on July 29."When you have some firepower in the lineup one swing of the
bat can get you back in the game," A's manager Ken Macha said.
"That's what Frank did. He's been impressive. He's meant a lot to
our club. He's probably our MVP."Loewen (5-4) took a one-hit shutout into the sixth. He wound up
allowing two hits and three runs in five-plus innings. He struck
out seven and walked four."It was difficult to come out of the game when I knew I was
letting things get out of hand," Loewen said.Loewen retired 13 straight after Mark Kotsay singled with one
out in the first.Dan Haren (12-11) lost his second straight start after winning
his previous six. He matched his season low with five innings,
allowing five runs and six hits. He struck out three and walked
one."The early innings have given me trouble," Haren said. "I
don't know if it's a focus thing, or something physical or mental.
I'm going to take a look at it."The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the first. Roberts reached base
safely on Marco Scutaro's fielding error and scored when Gomez
doubled. Tejada singled home Gomez.Gomez and Tejada also drove in runs in the third, and Markakis
hit an RBI double in the fifth to make it 5-0."I just try to do my work in batting practice and in the
cage," Gomez said. "The mental part is the biggest thing and you
just want to be prepared. It's nice to get a game against a good
team."Loewen walked Kendall and Swisher to open the sixth and gave up
a broken-bat RBI single to Milton Bradley. Julio Manon came in to
face Thomas, who drilled a 3-2 pitch halfway up the staircase
beyond the left-field fence to get the A's within 5-4.Thomas reached 30 home runs for the ninth time in his career and
the first since hitting 47 in 2003.The Orioles added a run in the seventh. Scott Sauerbeck hit
Danny Ardoin to lead off the inning. After Jeff Fiorentino
sacrificed Ardoin to second, Roberts tripled off the glove of Jay
Payton, who appeared to lose sight of the drive.
Plate umpire Marvin Hudson left the game after three
innings when he sustained a blow to the head on a backswing by A's
SS Marco Scutaro. ... A's 3B Eric Chavez missed his second game
with a moderate sprain on the inside of his right ankle. ...
Orioles C Ramon Hernandez missed his third game with a strained
ribcage. ... Gomez doubled twice in the same game for the first
time since Aug. 16, 2002, against the Kansas City Royals. ...
Kotsay left the game after three innings with tightness in his
back. ... Haren is now 6-2 in nine starts against the AL East.