Orioles 7, Athletics 5

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BALTIMORE (AP)—As strange as this might sound, the Oakland Athletics are delighted to have seen the last of the Baltimore Orioles.

Brian Roberts and Larry Bigbie had two RBIs apiece, and the Orioles’ bullpen blunted a comeback bid by the A’s in a 7-5 victory Thursday.

It was Oakland’s second straight loss after a 10-game winning streak. The A’s, who limited Baltimore to 10 runs in winning the first seven games between the teams, were outscored 16-5 in the final two.

“The Orioles played hard against us all year,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said. “The games we beat them, they were tough and hard-fought. We were fortunate to come out on top. They’ve got some good pitching over there, and some talented players.”

Melvin Mora had two hits and scored twice for the Orioles, who won their second straight after a nine-game skid.

“We’re on a hot streak,” Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said with a grin.

Billy McMillon and Eric Chavez hit successive homers in the third inning against Orioles starter Damian Moss, who didn’t get out of the fifth despite being staked to an early 4-0 lead.

Chavez finished with four hits, tying a career high, but Oakland lost a second straight for the first time since Aug. 22.

“We just won 10 games in a row, so we’ve got some leeway. It’s all right,” Chavez said.

After pulling even in the fifth, the A’s managed only three hits the rest of the way against four Baltimore relievers. Jorge Julio got the final two outs for his 30th save—the first since Aug. 10.

“The bullpen posted up big-time,” Hargrove said.

Oakland used a three-run fifth to tie it at 5. After Chavez hit a two-out RBI single, Miguel Tejada walked and Scott Hatteberg broke out of a 5-for-33 skid by doubling in two runs.

Baltimore went up 6-5 with an unearned run against Oakland starter John Halama (3-5) in the bottom half. Mora singled and took a wide turn around first, drawing a throw from second baseman Mark Ellis that went awry. Mora took third on the miscue and scored on sacrifice fly by Tony Batista.

Oakland loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh against Hector Carrasco (2-4), but Kerry Ligtenberg retired Jermaine Dye on a fly ball to the warning track in left.

Bigbie singled in a run in the Orioles’ half to conclude the scoring.

“Teams that are out of it, when they play against teams that are contending, it’s good for them because they can play the spoiler,” McMillon said. “If they can send somebody packing, that can be a bright point on their season.”

The Orioles went up 4-0 in the second. With two outs, Tim Raines hit an RBI single and Roberts doubled in two runs before scoring on a double by Luis Matos.

Oakland scored twice in the third, although the damage against Moss could have been a lot worse. Eric Byrnes hit a leadoff double, but inexplicably ran full tilt on Bobby Crosby’s blooper to center and was doubled up after Raines made a diving catch.

McMillon then homered, and three pitches later Chavez hit his 25th home run. Tejada followed with a shot that a leaping Raines snagged with his outstretched glove hanging over the 7-foot wall.

“I’ve never done that before. I always try it in batting practice and never get it,” Raines said. “I just ran back to the wall as quick as I could and jumped as high as I could. It just found my glove.”

Baltimore made it 5-2 in the bottom half on a run-scoring groundout byBigbie.

Notes

Oakland OF Jose Guillen served the first day of a two-day suspension he received while with Cincinnati earlier this season. He was replaced by McMillon. … The Orioles activated 2B Jerry Hairston (broken foot) from the 60-day disabled list, but he did not play. … Fourteen of Chavez’s 130 careerhomers have come against Baltimore.

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