O.CO COLISEUM — Before the first pitch was thrown Saturday night, the Coliseum shook with thunderous applause as the Oakland Athletics celebrated the 25th anniversary of their 1989 World Series championship.
Former A’s greats Jose Canseco, Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Stewart and Tony LaRussa drew massive roars from the sellout Saturday night crowd of 36,067.
Any good vibes from the ceremony — and Josh Donaldson’s walk-off last night —were short lived.
With one swing, Adam Jones’ three-run home run in the first gave the Orioles the head start they needed to blast their way to an 8-4 win.
In the top of the first, Jason Hammel (L, 8-7, 3.35 ERA) let Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce on base via a single and a walk, setting the table for Jones.
Jones proceeded to smash Hammel’s 2-0 pitch for his 17th home run and RBIs number 55, 56 and 57 of the year. Before an out was recorded, Hammel and the A’s were down 3-0.
After striking out Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis, Hammel gave up another long ball, this time to J.J. Hardy.
In the top of the third, Hammel walked Jones, the leadoff batter. Cruz followed the walk with a single to right. Chris Davis doubled, scoring Jones for a 5-0 Baltimore lead.
Hammel said of his performance:
“I am just not pitching like myself. I just have to have a short memory, and get ready for my next start.”
With that, Hammel’s outing was over. Dan Otero came in and got Hardy to ground out to shortstop. Machado was intentionally walked, and Nick Hundley grounded to third, where Donaldson stepped on the base and fired to first to complete the inning-ending double play.
After the game, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Hammel’s lack of control cost him:
“He just didn’t have the command he’s used to. He got behind, and the Orioles took advantage.”
The Athletics had yet to collect a hit in the third when Brandon Moss decided to change that, hitting one into the right field bleachers off starter Wei-Yin Chen (W, 10-3, 4.21 ERA). This blast made the score 5-1 Orioles.
The comeback was short-lived. After making quick work of Jonathan Schoop, the Orioles again started filling the base paths. Markakis singled, Pearce doubled, and Jones singled them both home.
The theme for the night was Adam Jones. Jones comes up, the Orioles do damage.
In his first three at-bats, Jones went 2-2 with a walk and brought in five runs with his bat. Jones finished the night 2-for-4 and the five RBI, giving him 59 on the season.
The A’s answered back in the bottom of the fourth with two more when Jed Lowrie drove home Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris with a double that split the gap in left center and rolled to the wall.
The combination of Fernando Abad and Ryan Cook kept the O’s bats quiet, going a combined 3 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s and 0 ER.
The Athletics tacked on another run in the sixth, this time on a Jed Lowrie single. The RBI was Lowrie’s 37th on the season.
Luke Gregerson pitched into and out of some trouble in the eighth inning. The same can not be said for Jim Johnson in the ninth.
On Johnson’s fifth pitch to former teammate Chris Davis, Johnson was taken deep, widening the Orioles lead to 8-4.
In the ultimate booing competition, Jim Johnson faced Manny Machado. It was impossible to tell with whom the fans were more displeased.
Brandon Moss’ home run was his 22nd of the season, giving him the team lead. … Jason Hammel allowed two home runs in the first inning for the third time in his career. … Yoenis Cespedes (1-for-4) is 6-for-53 (.113) with no extra base hits and one RBI in July. … Manny Machado (0-for-4) extended his on-base streak to a career-high 19 games. Machado is 27-for-69 (.391) over the streak with four doubles, six home runs, 11 RBI, and six walks.