Written by Chris Slade
Veteran righthander Scott Feldman (no relation to Corey Feldman) took the mound for the Orioles against the Athletic's rookie righthander (and former first rounder out of Vanderbilt) Sonny Gray. The A's took a 1-0 lead in the 1st after Alberto Callaspo's infield single scored Coco Crisp from third. That would be all the Athletics would score against Feldman. The Orioles meanwhile, showed some offensive life after being held to one run yesterday, jumping out to a 2-1 lead in the first on an RBI single by Adam Jones and a sac fly by Matt Wieters. The scoring continued in the 2nd as J.J. Hardy led off with a double, followed by a Ryan Flaherty walk, and a Brian Roberts RBI opposite field single. Flaherty and Roberts would then tag up on a Nate McLouth flyout to center and score on a Chris Davis opposite field single. Brian Roberts walked to leadoff the 4th and Nate McLouth hit a ground rule double to give the Orioles runners on second and third with nobody down. Machado would hit a sac fly to score Roberts. McLouth, however, got picked off at second by relief pitcher Jerry Blevins. C'mon Nate! J.J. Hardy hit a solo bomb in the 6th giving the Orioles a nice, cushiony 7-1 lead.
The A's would tack on a couple runs in the 8th to cut the orioles lead to 7-3. The Orioles removed all doubt when they answered with a three run 8th, highlighted by a two run bomb from Markakis and a solo bomb from nate McLouth. Miguel Gonzalez pitched a scoreless 9th and the Orioles picked up win number 70 on the season.
Scott Feldman entered today's game with carrying a 4.83 ERA and a 3-3 record in eight starts since joining the Orioles. Feldman walked Coco Crisp to begin his afternoon and ran into some trouble in the first as the A's jumped out to an early lead via Callaspo's infield RBI single. A big inning ending strikeout of Seth Smith prevented any further scoring. Feldman bounced back with a three up, three down second inning. The third inning looked like it would be troublesome as Feldman walked two batters and hit another, throwing 30+ pitches during the inning. He was able to escape the bases loaded jam with two outs by getting Seth Smith to fly out. Feldman cruised through the 4th, retiring the side in order, highlighted by a nasty 90 MPH two seam fastball for a swinging strikeout brought to you by Kurt Suzuki. Overall, it was an odd outing for Feldman up to this point, with just one hit and one run but four walks allowed through four innings, carrying an 85 pitch count into the 5th. After leadoff singles from Crisp and Lowrie in the 5th, Feldman worked out of the jam via a Josh Donaldson double play and a Brandon Moss strikeout to finish his day. It wasn't pretty but it was an effective outing for Feldman today and he got his 11th win out of it, managing to allow just one run over five innings to a usually productive A's lineup. We'll take it.
Final Line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, Win
T.J. McFarland entered the game in the 6th and retired the side including two strikeouts. He then pitched a perfect 7th inning. Buck Showalter decided to let him keep going and unfortunately the A's had their way with him in the 8th
Darren O'Day was brought on to clean things up and he succeeded by inducing an inning ending double play to prevent any further scoring.
Buck decided to turn to starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, who won't be pitching until Friday I assume, to work the 9th and he retired the side in order to put the finsihing touches on the victory.
Today made for a solid afternoon's work on offense with every hitter in the starting lineup contributing in some fashion. The Orioles scored early and often, burying the A's into a 7-1 hole by the 7th inning which proved to be to steep for them to climb out of.
Nick Markakis went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run, ending two long standing droughts in the same day.
Manny Machado went 2-for-3 with two singles and two sac flies.
Nate McLouth was 2-for-5 on the day with a ground rule double and a solo home run, continuing his tear against A.L. West opponents this season.
J.J. Hardy had the best day, continuing his hot month of August with a 3-for-4 afternoon, including a double and a home run.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Not much in the way of web gems during today's contest. Just good steady defense from both clubs, no errors committed, and two key double plays in the 5th and 8th innings on the Orioles part to end any potential rallies the A's had in store.
Key Moments In The Game
The three run 2nd inning. It gave Scott Feldman and the pitching staff some breathing room the rest of way as the offense jumped out to a 5-1 lead.
The three run 8th inning. Any glimmer of hope the A's had of coming back in the 9th was shot down after the Orioles extended the lead to 10-3 via the Markakis and McLouth home runs.
The Orioles hit a season high three sacrifice flies today. Young Manuel had two of them.
Credit goes to Dan Connolly for this fun fact. When Sonny Gray was being recruited by Vanderbilt, he stayed with Ryan Flaherty (also a former Commodore) during his college visit.
Much ado was made about Nick Markakis and his 31 game streak without an extra base hit entering today's game. Much ado about nothing as Markakis triumphantly ended the streak with a double AND his first home run in two months during today's game.
Yep, baseball is a funny game. Markakis and Chris Davis both had two-hit games today. Davis hit two singles and Markakis hit a double and home run. Go figure.
The Orioles are expected to activate MEAT (Wilson Betemit) from the DL on Monday as his alloted time for his rehab assignment will be used up.
Next Up: The Orioles travel to Fenway Park where Wei-Yin Chen will start Game One against Res Sox lefthander Felix Doubront.
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