Danny Haren’s 14-start unbeaten streak came to an unexpected end after one of his best efforts of the season.
Haren, acquired from St. Louis in the offseason deal that sent left-hander Mark Mulder to the Cardinals, had gone 9-0 in 14 starts before a tough 1-0 setback to reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana and the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
The right-hander tossed a three-hitter, struck out four, walked two and gave up the game’s lone run on an RBI single in the fifth inning.
“You can’t give in,” Haren said. “So many times I’ve pitched terrible and got a no-decision. The one time I throw a complete game, I end up losing. … He’s the reigning Cy Young, and that’s what he’s going to do. You expect the best from him, and he brought it tonight.”
The A’s had also emerged victorious in each of Haren’s previous 14 outings.
Oakland had won 23 of 30 games before dropping the last three in a row, including Tuesday’s 4-3 setback to the Orioles.
Brian Roberts scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on a controversial error as Baltimore beat Oakland in wild fashion for the second straight game.
Just as they did a day earlier, the A’s fell apart in the seventh with a costly mistake—and Oakland lost three straight for the first time since being swept at Washington from June 7-9.
The Orioles rallied for five runs in the seventh inning of their 6-2 win Monday night, taking advantage of two hit batsmen, two bases-loaded walks and an error.
Despite the loss, Oakland remained 1 1/2 games in front of the New York Yankees in the AL wild card race and two back of the Los Angeles Angels for first place in the AL West. Both the Yankees and Angels lost Tuesday.
Baltimore’s Rafael Palmeiro, facing constant boos in his second game back in the lineup following a 10-game steroid suspension, had a double, a single and scored a run.
The Orioles have won six of their last eight games.