BALTIMORE—The Orioles clawed back to tie the Oakland Athletics in the seventh inning, but a horrid eighth cost them the game Wednesday night.
Oakland, which broke a six-game losing streak, scored three runs in the eighth on four singles, two sacrifices and a mental error by leftfielder Austin Hays.
The 8-4 loss to the A’s before an announced crowd of 10,181 at Camden Yards sent the Orioles (6-6) back to .500 for the sixth time this season.
Brent Rooker, who hit a three-run home run in the first inning against Dean Kremer, led off the eighth with a single against Keegan Akin (0-1). Jace Peterson singled, and Aledmys Diaz bunted for a single against Cionel Pérez to load the bases.
Jesús Aguilar lined out to left, scoring pinch-runner Esteury Ruiz. Hays threw the ball to second, allowing Peterson to go to third. Peterson scored on Kevin Smith’s suicide squeeze, and Carlos Pérez, who homered in the fifth, singled for the seventh run.
“I was hoping Akin could get a couple of outs and two guys got on right away,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I went with [Pérez], a guy that’s throwing 97 and tried to get a groundball double play or some punchouts. I guess it wasn’t Cionel’s night, unlucky.
“There were some things that happened. Great bunt by them. They did a nice job of putting the ball in play, made a mistake in the outfield. Give them credit. Cionel’s tough to hit, and they put the ball in play against him.”
Oakland (3-9) had 15 hits and scored an additional run on an RBI single by Ruiz. The Orioles have been outscored, 15-2, in the eighth and ninth innings this season.
Chad Smith (1-0), who was recalled before the game, pitched the final two innings for his first major league win.
Kremer allowed four runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.
“I made a couple of mistakes that led to a long ball,” Kremer said. “If I could keep the ball in the yard, I think I’d be doing a pretty good job. I’ve just got to figure out a way to do it.”
Kremer thinks his pitches are better this season, though he has a 9.49 ERA in three starts.
“There’s a lot of positives, obviously, some negatives,” he said. “Just got to figure out how to keep the ball in the yard. Then I’ll be right where I was last year.”
“A ton of deep counts,” Hyde said. “The pitch count is an issue right now with some of our guys. He was at 90-plus pitches in the fifth. We’ve just got to be able to put guys away a little bit earlier and be able to get some early contact.”
The Orioles’ bullpen, which has worked 4 2/3 innings in consecutive nights, has been taxed and has a 4.20 ERA. Pérez, who allowed just nine earned runs all season in 2022 and had a 1.40 ERA, has given up four earned runs in six games. Akin has an 8.31 ERA in six games.
An RBI double by Jorge Mateo in the second against Ken Waldichuk gave the Orioles their first run. Ryan McKenna, whose error on a routine fly ball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth at Fenway Park on April 1st cost the Orioles a win, reached on an error by Rooker in right. McKenna was credited with a sacrifice fly.
After the two-run second, Waldichuk allowed just two hits until Adam Frazier’s one-out single in the seventh. Jeurys Familia replaced him, and Cedric Mullins, who sat out because the Orioles were facing their fourth consecutive left-handed starter, singled to score Frazier, who moved to second on a passed ball by Pérez.
Mullins moved up on an infield out by Hays and scored on a single by Adley Rutschman to tie the score at 4 in the seventh.
Notes: Gunnar Henderson broke an 0-for-15 slump with an eighth-inning single. … Cole Irvin (0-2, 9.35) will face Adam Oller (0-0, 4.86) on Thursday at 1:05 p.m.
Minor league update: Ryan Watson allowed seven runs, six earned, in 2 1/3 innings in relief as Triple-A Norfolk lost to Nashville, 8-6. First baseman Lewin Díaz and second baseman Jordan Westburg hit two-run home runs.
Chayce McDermott pitched five hitless innings, allowing three hits, and rightfielder John Rhodes drove in both runs with a two-run double as Double-A Bowie beat Akron, 2-1.
Cooper Chandler allowed seven runs, six earned, in two innings in relief in High-A Aberdeen’s 12-5 loss to Hudson Valley. Rightfielder Dylan Beavers hit his first home run.
Second baseman Jackson Holliday drove in four runs with a double and triple, shortstop Carter Young had three RBIs as Single-A Delmarva beat Kannapolis, 12-2.
Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions next week. Please email them to: [email protected]