BALTIMORE (AP) — Brent Rooker hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and Carlos Pérez homered and had three hits to help the Oakland Athletics snap their six-game losing streak with an 8-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.
The A’s squandered a 4-2 lead, but they recovered with three runs in the eighth to go back ahead for good. Orioles reliever Keegan Akin (0-1) allowed two straight singles to start the inning, and then Aledmys Díaz reached on a bunt single against Cionel Pérez.
Jesús Aguilar hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to put Oakland up 5-4, and the runner advanced from second to third when left fielder Austin Hays’ throw went to second. Then Kevin Smith brought in another run on a successful squeeze play.
Carlos Pérez added an RBI single to make it 7-4.
It was a big inning full of smallball for the franchise that made Moneyball famous.
“That’s not a reflection of the Oakland Athletics in general,” manager Mark Kotsay said. “We played offense tonight, and sometimes you’ve got to do that to get out of funks, and I was real happy with how we executed.”
The A’s finished with 15 hits, 12 of them singles.
Chad Smith (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth and was given the win — the first of his career — because Jeurys Familia was deemed to have had a brief, ineffective outing. Familia was in the game when the A’s went ahead in the eighth, but he’d given up the lead in the seventh.
Oakland called Smith up from Triple-A Las Vegas before the game.
“He flew all night. He didn’t get any sleep,” Kotsay said. “He got to the ballpark at 2:30 this afternoon, and for him to step up and come in and pitch two innings and get his first big league win, it’s a testament to the young man.”
Oakland starter Ken Waldichuk finally kept the ball in the park, pitching into the seventh. Waldichuk had allowed seven home runs in his first two outings, and the A’s as a team had yielded at least three homers in five straight games before Wednesday.
This time, Oakland had a three-run lead before its starter even took the mound. Rooker hit an 0-2 pitch over the wall in center field off Baltimore starter Dean Kremer.
Jorge Mateo hit an RBI double in the second for the Orioles and Ryan McKenna added a sacrifice fly.
Baltimore had men on first and second with nobody out in the fifth, but Adley Rutschman went after the first pitch and bounced into a double play. Then Ryan Mountcastle — who had nine RBIs the previous night — hit a flyball to end the inning.
Carlos Pérez’s solo shot in the fifth made it 4-2, but the Orioles tied it in the seventh. Waldichuk exited with a man on first and one out, and Familia allowed RBI singles by pinch-hitter Cedric Mullins and Rutschman.
Athletics: Oakland put RHP Domingo Acevedo (left back strain) on the 10-day injured list and recalled Smith.
Orioles: OF Anthony Santander had the night off. Manager Brandon Hyde said Santander has been dealing with a sore back but was available off the bench.
Baltimore (0-2) sends LHP Cole Irvin to the mound Thursday against his former team. The Orioles acquired him from Oakland in an offseason trade. RHP Adam Oller (0-0) is expected to pitch for the A’s.
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