Orioles 8, Athletics 3

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BALTIMORE (AP)—For the first time in two weeks, the Baltimore Orioles experienced the pleasure of a blowout victory.

Brian Roberts had three hits and three RBIs, Miguel Tejada had three hits and a homer, and the Orioles cruised past the Oakland Athletics 8-3 Saturday night.

Ten of Baltimore’s previous 11 games were decided by two runs or fewer; the exception was a 5-2 win over Toronto. The Orioles were 3-8 over that span.

“I don’t think a manager ever gets real comfortable. I think you’re always looking for what-ifs,” manager Sam Perlozzo said. “But it was nice to see our guys swing the bats like we thought we were capable of. We had a lot of two-out hits, which is another good sign. It’s a start, hopefully something we can build on.”

Tejada put the Orioles ahead for good with a two-run homer in the first inning off Joe Kennedy. He has two home runs in three games after opening the season with two homers in his 46 games.

Roberts singled and scored in the first inning, hit an RBI single in the second and singled in two runs in a four-run fifth that made it 8-1.

“There have been a lot of one-run games, two-run games, it’s been crazy,” Roberts said. “It was nice to have a little breathing room.”

Brian Burres (2-2) allowed one run and three hits in six innings. Pitching with 10 days’ rest, the left-hander struck out four and walked three in earning his second major league win.

Oakland starter Joe Kennedy (1-4) allowed seven runs, eight hits and five walks in 4 2-3 innings to raise his ERA from 2.70 to 3.62.

“Joe’s just a guy. I admire the courage he showed,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “He didn’t really have a real good feel, but he kept battling and got himself out a lot of jams. He actually pitched his heart out.”

Nick Swisher and Travis Buck homered for the A’s, who lost for only the third time in their past 17 games in Baltimore.

Although the Orioles treated the game like a runaway, Geren saw it differently. He liked the fact that Oakland scored a ninth-inning run off Danys Baez and had two runners on before Swisher popped out.

“It really got interesting the last couple of innings. We were one big swing away from making it a close ballgame,” Geren said.

Baltimore led 4-1 before batting around in the fifth. Tejada hit a leadoff single and advanced on a two-out walk to Ramon Hernandez before Corey Patterson ended Kennedy’s night with an RBI single.

Jay Witasick hit Jay Payton with his first pitch to load the bases for Roberts, who hit a two-run single, and Chris Gomez followed with an RBI single.

That put the lid on the Orioles’ most prolific offensive showing since they scored 11 against Tampa Bay on May 10.

Patterson, who batted eighth, scored three runs and Payton, the No. 9 hitter, went 3-for-3.

“What we saw tonight is what we need: contributions for different areas in the lineup,” Perlozzo said.

Buck got Oakland to 8-2 with his fifth homer off John Parrish in the seventh.

Burres retired the first 10 batters before Swisher drove a 2-1 pitch into the left-field seats in the fourth. Half of Swisher’s eight home runs this season have come in four games against the Orioles.

“I like this park. It’s a good ballpark to hit in,” Swisher said. “It’s probably just luck. Plus, it’s close to home, too,” Swisher, a West Virginia native, said.

In the bottom of the fourth, Baltimore loaded the bases with no outs and went up 4-1 when Gomez hit into a fielder’s choice.

The A’s filled the bases with one out in the fifth before Shannon Stewart bounced into a 6-4-3 double play, Oakland’s AL-high 52nd of the season.

Notes

Eric Chavez returned to the Oakland lineup after missing three games with tendinitis in his triceps. He went 0-for-4 and has only one hit in his past 17 at-bats. … Hernandez walked twice before snapping a 1-for-16 skid with a seventh-inning single. … Oakland fell to 11-8 in games started by left-handers.

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