McCarthy pitches Athletics to 5-2 win over OriolesOakland Athletics starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy throws to the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game in Baltimore, Friday, April 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
BALTIMORE (AP) The Oakland Athletics had only five hits Friday night. Thanks to Brandon McCarthy's solid pitching, that was enough.
As a result, the Athletics are a game over .500 for the first time since May 18, 2011.
McCarthy won for the first time this season, pitching seven strong innings, and Eric Sogard hit a two-run home run in a three-run second as Oakland beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Friday.
The Athletics have won three straight for the second time this season.
''We did maximize our offense today with the number of hits we got and that's the type of team we need to be,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
In McCarthy's first five starts, the Athletics scored 10 runs.
''Any time we can go out and get a few early and then hopefully the pitcher settles in and does his job, the game moves faster and kind of puts you in a positive mind set early,'' McCarthy said.
McCarthy (1-3) gave up two runs and five hits, walked three and struck out four.
Ryan Cook struck out four Orioles in the eighth inning, with Adam Jones reaching on a wild pitch.
''I didn't realize,'' Cook said. ''It's not something that's ever your goal when you go out there.''
Sogard, who was starting because Luke Hughes was a late scratch with an illness, didn't realize he had witnessed a baseball rarity.
''No, but he did, didn't he? That is awesome,'' Sogard said.
''McCarthy pitched an unbelievable game. A shaky start with the one run, but shut them down after that.''
Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his sixth save in seven chances.
Jake Arrieta (1-2) allowed four runs on four hits in 5 2-3 for Baltimore, which had a four-game winning streak snapped and failed to go six games over .500 for the first time since July 20, 2005.
''We didn't do much off McCarthy. I think that was a big part of it,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead when Nolan Reimold led off the first with a double to increase his hitting streak to 12 games. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Markakis.
Oakland took a 3-1 lead in the top of the second off Arrieta. Kila Ka'aihue walked with one out, and scored on a two-out double by Kurt Suzuki. Sogard hit a home run to right field - his second.
It was his fourth in 43 major league games.
''He has a way of sneaking them down the line. We've seen him do it before, but we don't count on him being a home run guy and drive in runs,'' Melvin said.
In the sixth, Josh Reddick homered to right for the Athletics - his third of the year - to make it 4-1. It was his sixth home run in 24 games against the Orioles. Reddick added an RBI single in the eighth.
Before the home run, Arrieta (1-2) had retired nine straight.
Baltimore scored a run in the sixth on a double by J.J. Hardy and an RBI single by Jones. He's 4 for 11 against McCarthy.
''That's the key around baseball, throwing strike one. Successful pitchers do that and tonight he was throwing strike one and made us put the ball in play,'' Jones said.
NOTES: Athletics OF Coco Crisp stole his 26th consecutive base in the eighth inning. ... Orioles RHP Jim Johnson returned to the team after spending four nights at a local hospital because of food poisoning. ... Baltimore reinstated INF Robert Andino from the paternity list and optioned RHP Jason Berken to Triple-A Norfolk. ... Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg tackled a fan who ran onto the field during the seventh inning stretch and eluded police. When the fan slid into home plate, Kellogg pounced on him. ... The Orioles have scheduled LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-0, 2.60) for Saturday against RHP Tyson Ross (1-0, 2.13).