OAKLAND — For those following the Oakland A’s this year, we know it hasn’t been great. The A’s were thought to at least have a chance of contending at the beginning of the season, but injuries and poor play ruled that out almost immediately once the season began. They were able to hover around .500 for awhile but just never quite got the ball rolling.
This was epitomized on Sunday, when the Baltimore Orioles ran over the A’s 18-2. The A’s fell to 17 games under .500, reaching their low water mark of the season. The 18 runs and 26 hits surrendered were also season highs. The A’s actually broke a record for most hits allowed in their Oakland history. The last time the A’s allowed 26 hits was in 1955 when the Kansas City Athletics gave up 29. It’s seemed the A’s have found new ways to lose all season, and they put it all together to blow this one.
It started in the first when starter Kendall Graveman gave up a solo shot to new Oriole Gerardo Parra. The A’s would answer in the 2nd when Sam Fuld drilled an RBI double to right field to tie the game at 1. Things looked good. The A’s had answered back right away. However, that’s all they scored in the top of the 2nd, and the Orioles got to bat.
Caleb Joseph got the scoring started with a two run double to give Baltimore the lead back 3-1. Manny Machado followed with a double of his own that chased home Joseph and made it 4-1. Parra then singled to right, allowing Machado to score and make it 5-1. Luckily for Oakland, Parra attempted to take second on the throw from Fuld, but Mark Canha cut it off and threw to Marcus Semien who applied the tag to end the inning. The A’s were still in it. In the bottom of the third it was back to the power show as Adam Jones went deep for his 21st jack and it was 6-1, and that’d be the last we saw of Graveman, capping yet another game where an Oakland starter did not make it five innings. Seems to be a reoccurring theme this season.
In the top of the 4th Brett Lawrie left the yard for his 11th home run of the season and Oakland wasn’t lying down, as it was now 6-2. The rest of the 4th and top half of the 5th were uneventful for both teams. Then the Orioles came to bat in the bottom of the 5th against Dan Otero.
Maybe Dan Otero had a long night Saturday night. Maybe he didn’t plan on pitching Sunday. Maybe he just wanted to see how long it would take manager Bob Melvin to remove a struggling pitcher. For some reason, Dan Otero was a little league pitcher Sunday. Here’s the breakdown of his outing:
— Chris Davis singled. Parra scored. 7-2 Orioles.
— Steve Clevinger grounded out but Jones scored. 8-2 Orioles.
— Henry Urrutia singled. Davis and Jonathan Schoop scored. 10-2 Orioles.
— Manny Machado doubled on a pop fly that Crisp couldn’t reach and Semien kicked. Urrutia and Joseph scored. 12-2 Orioles.
— Parra doubled. Machado scored. 13-2 Orioles.
It was around this point Melvin had seen enough and brought in Edward Mujica who promptly gave up a 2 run homer to Adam Jones and it was 15-2 heading to the 6th.
Mujica stuck around for a bit and gave up another 2 run homer to Joseph in the 6th, making it 17-2.
Bob Melvin would call on Evan Scribner in the 7th, but even he was not immune as he gave up a single to Urrutia that allowed Schoop to score, and capped the scoring at 18-2 Baltimore.
Some notes about this one?
— The Orioles had twice as many runs as the A’s had hits.
— Otero pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing 8 runs. The only pitchers that didn’t allow a run in this game for Oakland were Fernando Abad and Ike Davis.
— In the 8th inning, the A’s had position player Ike Davis pitching against Baltimore pitcher Jason Garcia. Buck Showalter had forgone the DH with the O’s so far ahead, and it at least gave everyone a reason to keep watching this beat down. The last time a position player pitched to a pitcher hitting in an American League park was in 1987 when Rick Cerone of the New York Yankees faced Ranger Bobby Witt.
So, yeah. This one was ugly. Not a lot of positives to draw, other than it can’t get much worse for Oakland this season and hey, the season’s almost over.