BALTIMORE (AP) -- Tropical Storm Hanna cost Oakland the opportunity to face the sagging Baltimore Orioles twice in a day, yet the Athletics still left town with their second winning streak since the All-Star break.
Jack Cust hit two solo home runs, Greg Smith pitched seven shutout innings and Oakland handed the Orioles their eighth straight loss, 5-1 Saturday night.The game was supposed to be the latter part of a split doubleheader, but the afternoon contest was wiped out by rain, courtesy of Hanna. The downpour finally let up in the early evening."I'm just happy that we got the game in with the poor weather this morning," A's manager Bob Geren said. "To come out of here with a win, it's a nice day for us. I'm happy that it cleared up and I'm happy that we took advantage of it."Jack Hannahan also homered for the A's, who won 11-2 Friday night and now have put together successive victories for only the second time since July 10-11."We're excited to get out of here with a couple wins," Cust said."Hopefully we're on the right foot now," said Smith, who allowed three hits, walked five and struck out two. The left-hander was 1-8 since June 30 and yielded a total of 13 runs in his last two starts."Tonight's the best he's looked in a long time," Geren said.Smith (7-14) shifted his pivot foot to the middle of the rubber and relied more heavily on his curveball. The changes worked quite well against the Orioles, who managed only one hit through the first five innings."I felt really good. The five walks doesn't look good, but moving over on the rubber seems to be working out," Smith said. "I'm pretty comfortable there."Huston Street gave up a run-scoring grounder to Nick Markakis in the eighth.The first game of the doubleheader, originally scheduled Sunday, was moved because the NFL's Baltimore Ravens are playing at home. No makeup date was announced.If the game is not made up, Oakland will finish with a 5-0 sweep of the season series. The A's swept the Orioles once before, 7-0 in 2004, which was also their last sweep of an AL foe.Cust, a former Oriole, enjoyed his third multihomer game of the season and hit a sacrifice fly. His 27 homers are a career high, surpassing the 26 he hit with Oakland last year."It feels good. It hasn't been the best of years as a whole, but to have the home runs is good," said Cust, who finished the night with his AL-high 171st strikeout.Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera (8-9) allowed two runs, five hits and six walks in three-plus innings. The struggling right-hander missed the strike zone on half of his 84 pitches."It's been bad for the whole team. It's not just me," Cabrera said after his shortest outing of the season. "It's been bad for everybody here. Right now, we are not playing good baseball."In the ninth inning, Jay Payton took off on a one-out fly and was easily doubled up at first base, sealing Baltimore's 13th loss in 14 games."It gets taxing after a while," Payton said. "That's the thing -- you have to fight not to make those mental mistakes."One night after Orioles pitchers issued 10 walks, Cabrera walked the first three batters before Cust hit a run-scoring fly. Oakland then reloaded the bases before Hannahan grounded out on a 3-1 pitch.Baltimore stranded a runner at third in the bottom half, then left the bases loaded in the second.Cust led off the third with a no-doubt shot to right on a 3-2 count.In the fourth, Baltimore's Alfredo Simon began his major league career by getting Kurt Suzuki to hit into a double play. Four pitches later, however, Cust sent a fastball into the right-field bleachers for a 3-0 lead.Hannahan connected in the fifth on a 3-1 pitch, his eighth homer of the season -- all against right-handers. Later in the inning, Rajai Davis chased Simon with an RBI triple.
Oakland will have its first Sunday off since Sept. 17, 2000. ... Cabrera took over the team lead in homers allowed (23). ... Baltimore hasn't won a season series against Oakland since 1998.