A’s snap road skid
BALTIMORE (AP) – During a season in which they’ve struggled to win on the road, the Oakland Athletics found relief against a team they’ve long dominated in a stadium where they usually experience success.
Trevor Cahill pitched six innings of two-hit ball, Adam Rosales homered and drove in four runs, and Oakland beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Wednesday night to end a six-game road losing streak.
Rajai Davis had three hits, stole a career-high three bases and scored twice for the Athletics, who came in with a major league-low five wins away from home. Oakland is 18-9 at home and 6-14 on the road.
“It is just a little different because the numbers don’t add up. We haven’t played the same number of games yet” at home and on the road, manager Bob Geren said. “We have the same effort, the same preparation, the same guys playing.”
Despite losing Tuesday, Oakland can earn its second road series win with a victory Thursday night. The A’s have won 17 of their last 21 games at Camden Yards, are 14-3 in their last 17 games against Baltimore and are 69-30 against the Orioles since the start of the 1999 season.
Cahill (3-2) allowed one run, walked three and struck out three. The only significant flaw in his performance was a solo homer by Garrett Atkins in the third inning after the A’s had taken a 5-0 lead.
Jerry Blevins gave up one hit in two innings, striking out the side in the eighth. Brad Ziegler worked the ninth to complete the three-hitter.
The A’s took control with a four-run first inning against rookie Brian Matusz (2-5). After Davis led off with a single and scored on a single by Kurt Suzuki, Rosales hit a three-run homer to left field. As is his custom, Rosales hustled around the bases instead of breaking into a home run trot.
“I thought there was one pitch in the game that turned it around, and that’s the ball that Rosales hit,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “The first inning, that’s the difference in the game. Heck, you stick Cahill with four runs in the first and he’s a ground-ball machine.”
Rosales’ drive ended a seven-game homerless stretch by the Athletics, their longest in 27 years.
“We haven’t been hitting the long ball too much, but he gave us one tonight and got us off to a good start,” Cahill said.
Oakland made it 5-0 in the second when Davis singled, stole second and scored on a single by Daric Barton.
Atkins’ homer was his first since signing with Baltimore as a free agent in December. The drive ended his homerless drought at 145 at-bats, one short of his career high.
“That’s one more thing that everybody can put to bed now, that he hit a home run,” Trembley said. “I’m sure he feels a lot better because of it, but it would have been a lot nicer if we had won the game.”
The A’s chased Matusz in the sixth. Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a leadoff double, Ryan Sweeney got an infield hit and Rosales followed with a run-scoring single. Rosales finished with three hits, and his four RBIs tied a career high.
“I swing hard, always do,” Rosales said. “It’s exciting to take the lead and get the runs. Runs have been scarce.”
Matusz gave up six runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. The left-hander has lost five straight decisions and has yielded at least six runs in three of his last four starts.
“Yeah, I’m just in a bad groove,” Matusz said. “I am not staying through the ball, I am not pounding the ball down in the zone. All the hits I am giving up are pitches that are up. It’s just me needing to work on getting the ball down a little bit better.”
NOTES: The Orioles gave away Nolan Reimold bobbleheads to fans entering the ballpark, even though Reimold was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on May 12. … Davis has 18 stolen bases, one more than the Orioles. … Baltimore’s Frank Mata allowed one hit in 1 1-3 innings in his major league debut. … Adam Jones extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with an infield single off Blevins.