A's 'ain't bad' after 9-5 loss to Orioles

September 17, 2012, 12:44 am
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OAKLAND -- Before the game a message on the whiteboard in the A's clubhouse read "Two of three ain't bad, but it ain't us!!!" They had to settle for "ain't bad" on Sunday. The Orioles took the series finale in Oakland with a 9-5 victory. The A's however had the last laugh, as they won two of three in this series and hold home field advantage against the Orioles if they finish tied atop the Wild Card standings. "You win the first two games and you want to get greedy and take the third game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We're going day-to-day, but going into this series if you have a chance to take two out of three to a good team like that we'll take it." The A's are two games ahead of the Orioles for the top Wild Card spot. The A's handed the Orioles back-to-back losses this weekend for the first time since August 16-17. "Every game is a must win, but it's a tough place to play so we'll take one and go on to Seattle and try to win a couple up there," Orioles' catcher Matt Wieters said. "It doesn't matter what happened yesterday or recently. We were ready to play today and get a win."Rookie starting pitcher Dan Straily relinquished an early 2-0 lead by allowing four runs over four and two-third innings. Wieters wreaked havoc on Straily with two solo homers and a walk in three plate appearance against the A's starting pitcher."I just made a lot of mistakes plain and simple, I just didn't get the job done today," Straily said. "That's the most guys I've ever walked in a single game in my life. That's frustrating." Straily's five walks snapped an A's starting pitcher streak of 44 consecutive games allowing three walks or less that dated back to at least 1921. Straily said his fastball command was lacking and that he was trying to be too fine and missing his spots. "It's just a bad day at work," Straily said. "I am going to go back to work and fix it and be ready to go by next Saturday. I'm going to learn from it, watch the video on Tuesday and go back to work."Oakland's pitchers had an uncharacteristically wild day issuing nine free passes on Sunday. "We also had some guys in the game that haven't been pitching on a regular basis," Melvin said. "Our starters have typically been going longer in the game. We have a select few guys that are in close games and now all of a sudden we have guys in the game that haven't gotten regular work." The A's used a season-high seven pitchers in the game. At one point four A's relievers combined to get three key outs in the sixth inning, pitching their way out of a bases loaded jam. "Just too many toys in the chest," Melvin explained. "I knew I'd be killing one of these games here and making it into a four hour game and today ended up being that day."The A's struck the first blow when Josh Reddick smashed a two-run blast deep into the right field seats. His 29th homer of the season almost reached the second deck. Oakland made it interesting in the eighth inning when Stephen Drew hit his second homer in as many days to make it a 7-4 game. Drew now has three homers since being acquired by the A's. A's reliever Jesse Chavez allowed two runs in the top of the ninth to extend the Orioles lead to five runs. The A's didn't go down without a fight though, they rallied for a run in the ninth inning after Reddick added an RBI single. They had two runners on base when Chris Carter grounded out to end the game. The A's will spend their final day off of the season traveling to Detroit. They embark on a 10-game road trip which could prove to be their toughest test of the year. They have three games in Detroit, three in New York, and then four games in Texas against the American League West-leading Rangers. If they can hold their own on the marathon roadie, the chance they make the postseason for the first time since 2006 "ain't bad."NOTES:-- Coco Crisp was a late scratch from the lineup with allergic conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. He was wearing sunglasses in the clubhouse after the game. "He would have been available to pinch run today," Melvin said. "When your eyes aren't there you don't want to put him in that predicament. I think he got a little better as the day goes along but hopefully we get through the off day tomorrow and he is ready to go when we get to Detroit." -- A's batters struck out 12 times on Sunday running their total up to 1232 for the season and setting a new Athletics franchise record. Their previous high was 1226 in 2008.

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