Davis slams Orioles, Oakland walks to lopsided win
BALTIMORE (AP)—With plenty of help from Baltimore’s wild pitchers, the Oakland Athletics scored more runs in one inning than in any of their previous 40 games.
The Athletics crossed the plate eight times in the eighth inning Friday night, and they did it with only one hit: a grand slam by Rajai Davis that sealed an 11-2 victory.
Three Baltimore pitchers issued six walks—four with the bases loaded—and hit a batter in the eighth before the fourth reliever, Randor Bierd, served up Davis’ first career grand slam.
Davis had entered earlier in the eighth as a pinch runner for Jack Cust.
“To be honest with you, I’ve never seen an inning like that. Ever,” said Orioles manager Dave Trembley, who earlier in the day was told he would return for the 2009 season.
The A’s ended a four-game skid and extended Baltimore’s season-high losing streak to seven games. The Orioles have lost 12 of 13.
The big inning enabled Oakland to avoid tying a franchise record for consecutive games without scoring more than six runs. The Philadelphia Athletics went 41 straight games without scoring more than a half-dozen runs from Sept. 23, 1915, to May 20, 1916, and the 1916 A’s matched the mark from June 29-Aug. 8.
“It’s a nice game for us with a nice big inning, which is something that we haven’t had a lot of lately,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said.
Six walks and a hit batter had a lot to do with it.
“We try to train our guys to very disciplined,” Geren said. “When pitchers have trouble throwing it over, that can happen.”
The Orioles also gave up a bases-loaded walk in the sixth. It was the first time a team has issued five bases-loaded walks in one game since the Chicago Cubs did it against San Francisco on Sept. 2, 2000.
The walkathon ruined what was an otherwise memorable day for Trembley. Not only did the Orioles exercise the club option for 2009, but they added another one for 2010.
In August 2007, after club president Andy MacPhail promoted Trembley from interim manager, Baltimore lost 30-3 to Texas. This time, the Orioles allowed 10 walks and yielded double figures in runs for the fifth time during their seven-game slide.
“I don’t have any magic formula, I don’t have any catch phrase, I don’t have any quick fix,” said Trembley, whose pitchers have surrendered 56 walks in the last seven games. “You have to be able to throw it over the plate. It’s that simple.”
One of the few pitches that found the strike zone in the wacky eighth inning was deposited into the left-field seats by Davis.
“I can’t say that I have actually been in a game where that many guys (walked) in one inning,” Davis said. “That was really pretty amazing, something I’ve never seen before.”
Oakland’s Jack Hannahan was mired in a 3-for-27 slump before getting a fifth-inning single. In the bottom half, the third baseman made an outstanding backhand catch of a foul pop, then flipped over the rail into the A’s dugout.
Oakland starter Dallas Braden (5-3) allowed four hits and two runs, one earned, in five innings.
“I just kind of fatigued really early,” Braden said. “Kind of weird.”
The A’s got three walks and two singles in the sixth but scored only one run. After center fielder Adam Jones threw out Emil Brown trying to score on a single, Orioles starter Chris Waters (2-2) issued a walk to load the bases and was pulled.
Trembley summoned Bass, obtained earlier in the day in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. In discussing the move, MacPhail said, “The attractive thing about Brian is that he throws strikes.”
Bass promptly issued a four-pitch walk to Hannahan to force in a run. Two innings later, Bass walked a batter and hit one to get Oakland started on its eight-run outburst.
The latter part of the game was played in the rain. … The Orioles played without hitting coach Terry Crowley, who served a one-game suspension for coming onto the field to argue a play in Wednesday’s game at Boston. Baltimore also was without DH Aubrey Huff, whose wife gave birth to a boy on Thursday. … Braden recorded Oakland’s major league-leading 32nd pickoff.