A six-run third inning propelled the Orioles to their second straight victory over the Oakland Athletics before 6,469 at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday. It was a game that featured a statistical anomaly as 10 Orioles each had one hit in the 8-4 win over the Athletics.
It also included a potential scary moment in the eighth when rightfielder DJ Stewart hit his head on the Orioles’ bullpen awning while recording the second out. Stewart stayed in the game, moving his jaw after the catch.
The Orioles, who won their third straight, jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third. Austin Hays had a two-run single. A third run scored on an error by third baseman Matt Olson. Trey Mancini’s single and Ryan Mountcastle’s sacrifice fly were the other runs batted in. A sixth run scored on a wild pitch by Jesús Luzaro (1-3), who was charged with six runs, three unearned in three innings.
“I thought we had really good at-bats that inning,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Capitalized on a couple of their mistakes. It was nice to see the line moving and to see a really nice rally put together.”
Orioles starter Matt Harvey (3-1) gave up two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out one. Harvey has won three straight starts for the first time since June 21-July 1, 2018.
“It’s nice to know that I can have those days when I’m not throwing great and don’t have my best stuff and be able to battle through it and go 5 2/3rds and keep runs off the board,” Harvey said.
Harvey realizes he’s not the same pitcher he was when he starred for the New York Mets in 2015, but he’s been effective.
“I’m not really throwing 97-100, 101 anymore,” Harvey said. “It’s definitely a different feeling. I think pitching back then was a lot easier when you have that kind of stuff.”
Harvey took a line drive off Matt Chapman’s bat on his right thumb in the first inning, but he stayed in the game.
“That was a veteran performance, another gutsy pitching performance,” Hyde said. “He’s so competitive, and I love the way our guys feed off that.”
The Orioles had built their lead to a 8-0 by the sixth, and Harvey allowed his two runs during that inning.
“I could definitely feel it,” Harvey said about the thumb. “I think during the sixth inning when you get a lead like that, adrenaline comes off, and you can start feeling things a little more.
“I was able to battle through it. I wasn’t hurt super hard. I was able to grind out a couple more innings after that.”
Stewart had a two-run home run in the sixth, his second of the season. In the eighth, he appeared to avoid a concussion when he hit the awning running at full speed.
“It was more so my jaw/ear area,” Stewart said. “I’m fine. I’ll probably be a little bit sore, but I just actually found out they put a padding on that railing this year, so I’m thankful for that. If not, I’d probably be going to see a dentist.”
The Orioles (13-14), who have won five of seven, are 9-4 on the road and have a chance on Sunday to reach .500 for the first time since April 10th. In last season’s 60-game schedule, they were 14-14 after 28 games.
“It’s 28 games in 162,” Hyde said. “I want to see us get better, win every series we can. I like the way we’re being competitive against good clubs. I just want us to play well, and things will take care of themselves if we do. After 28 games, it really doesn’t mean anything in the course of a six-month season.”
Notes: Freddy Galvis, who missed the last four games because of a groin injury, returned at shortstop and was 1-for-3. … Pat Valaika came into the game in the sixth inning to spell Galvis. He had one hit and is now 3-for 24 (.125) this season. “He’s had a little bit of bad luck on some just misses,” Hyde said. “You’ve seen two or three or four deep fly balls to right that he missed underneath by just a hair. Probably a couple would have gone out at Yankee Stadium.” … The Orioles and Athletics conclude their three-game series on Sunday at 4:07 pm. Bruce Zimmermann (1-3, 5.33 ERA) will face Sean Manaea (3-1, 2.83).