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Few bright spots for Oakland A’s in lopsided loss to Baltimore Orioles

Few bright spots for Oakland A’s in lopsided loss to Baltimore Orioles

OAKLAND — The Oakland A’s had 12 hits Friday night but still could not keep up with the Baltimore Orioles.

The A’s allowed five runs in the first two innings and never fully recovered in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles before an announced crowd of 8,942 at the Coliseum.

Pitchers Francisco Perez, Luis Medina, and Kyle Muller combined to allow eight earned runs in the first 7 1/3 innings as the A’s gave up 16 hits and lost for the sixth time in their last seven games.

Medina entered the game in the second inning with the A’s down 3-1 but his velocity started to tail off for the start of the third inning, as A’s manager Mark Kotsay said he started to develop a blister.

For the Orioles, Gunnar Henderson hit a two-run homer in the second and added an RBI single to back Kyle Gibson’s winning start.

Gibson (12-7) struck out six and didn’t walk a batter, allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings coming off his first loss in seven starts. He’s one win from matching his career high done twice previously and last in 2019 with Minnesota.

Cedric Mullins hit a two-run double in the Orioles’ three-run first that also featured an RBI single by Ryan Mountcastle. Adam Frazier contributed an RBI double, while Jordan Westburg had a run-scoring single and sacrifice fly in Baltimore’s balanced offensive attack.

“That lineup is a good lineup,” Kotsay said. “If we make mistakes, they’re going to capitalize.”

The A’s got one back in the bottom half of the first on Seth Brown’s RBI double and he hit an RBI single in the fifth. Tony Kemp and Brent Rooker added run-scoring doubles.

Oakland changed its pitching plan Thursday to go with opener Francisco Pérez (0-1), the 15th time the A’s used an opener and they fell to 0-5.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde so appreciated Kotsay’s text Thursday that the A’s were changing starters.

“It’s kind of an unwritten professionalism type of thing to let the other team know as much in advance as you can give them. … And you want to reciprocate, too,” Hyde said. “I’ve seen it every different type of way. But I know Mark really well. So I would have done the same thing for him.”

Oakland lost for the eighth time in 10 games and the A’s have dropped the season series with the Orioles — 1-5 with two more matchups this weekend — for the first time since going 3-4 against Baltimore in 2017.

A’s center fielder Lawrence Butler singled twice in his home debut at the Coliseum after making his major league debut a week earlier. He now has a six-game hitting streak. Rooker had three hits and Brown and Kemp each had two in the opener of a six-game homestand.

Oakland lost for the eighth time in 10 games and the A’s have dropped the season series with the Orioles — 1-5 with two more matchups this weekend — for the first time since going 3-4 against Baltimore in 2017.

REUNION TIME

A couple of former A’s, pitchers Cole Irvin and Shintaro Fujinami, were back at the Coliseum and spent some time pregame catching up with old friends. Irvin spent the 2021 and ’22 seasons with Oakland, while Fujinami was traded to the Orioles last month ahead of the deadline.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: OF Aaron Hicks tested his back injury with some swings in the indoor cage and manager Brandon Hyde hadn’t ruled out his return Saturday. Hicks missed his third straight start since experiencing back discomfort Monday night in his first game back from a stint on the injured list.

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Athletics: 1B Ryan Noda, recovering from a fractured jaw, was playing again for Triple-A Las Vegas in his third rehab game — this time nine innings at first base and Kotsay is encouraged by his progress.

UP NEXT

LHP Irvin (1-3, 4.92 ERA) faces his former club Saturday night seeking his first decision since June 16 and first win since June 10. Fellow southpaw Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 6.07), who left with the lead in each of his past two outings only for the bullpen to blow the save.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.