Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 5, Orioles 2

Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 5, Orioles 2
September 16, 2012, 3:56 am
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OAKLAND -- The A's gloves and jerseys were golden on Saturday night. They defeated Baltimore 5-2 to win the season series and now are ensured home field advantage if they end the season tied with the Orioles atop the Wild Card standings. Coupled with the Rangers' loss on Saturday, the A's are now two games behind Texas in the American League West and a season-high 23 games over .500. At the PlateAll of the A's runs scored in a five-run, 10-batter rally against Orioles' starting pitcher Zach Britton in the third inning. Stephen Drew got the scoring started with a solo homer to right field, his second for Oakland this season. He ended up striking out to end the inning. Josh Reddick went opposite field poking an RBI single to where the shortstop would have been standing if the shift wasn't on. Reddick's 76th RBI made it a 2-0 game. Yoenis Cespedes followed with a sharp RBI single up the middle driving in Jonny Gomes who was hit by a pitch. Chris Carter followed with a two-run oppositie field double scoring Reddick and Cespedes. When Carter hit the ball, Cespedes got such a good read and was running so fast that he almost blew right past Reddick on the base paths. When the dust settled from the A's offensive explosion it was a 5-2 game and Britton had thrown 38 pitches in the inning. Reddick added a double in the seventh inning, then advanced to third on a wild pitch during an intentional walk to Cespedes. Carter drew a walk to load the bases. The A's couldn't add on to their lead though. Josh Donaldson popped out to right and Derek Norris hit a foul pop up to third to end the inning. Starting Pitching ReportJarrod Parker fell behind early but didn't falter. He lasted seven innings allowing two runs on seven hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. He won his 11th game of the season. Parker was charged with an error after a pickoff throw got past Carter in the second inning allowing Jones to race to third. He scored with ease when Mark Reynolds hit a double down the left field line to make it 1-0. He gave up a solo homer in the third inning to leadoff hitter Nate McLouth on a fastball. That was all the damage that was done against Parker. The rookie starting pitcher benefitted greatly from some slick glove work in the fourth frame. Adam Jones hit a leadoff single and Chris Davis followed with a double but Jones was gunned down at home on the play. After the defensive effort, Parker retired 11 of the next 13 batters. Bullpen ReportSean Doolittle pitched a hitless eighth inning and struck out one. Grant Balfour entered with a three run lead in the ninth inning looking for his 19th save of the season. He gave up a hit and a walk but escaped unscathed for the save. In the FieldThe A's picked up where they left off Friday night by turning a double play in the first inning. The Orioles have grounded into five double plays in this series. In the second inning Drew made a smart decision that followed a bad decision by Reynolds, who got caught between second and third base on a hard-hit ground ball hit directly to the shortstop. Reynolds ended up in a rundown when Drew elected to go after the lead runner instead of the out at first. Drew also made a highlight reel play in the seventh inning ranging up the middle and flipping the ball with his glove to second base. He finished the seventh by running deep into foul territory and making a catch near the bullpen mound. In the fourth inning Jones reached on a single and was gunned down at home on a perfect defensive play by the A's following a Davis double. Cespedes got to the ball and made a strong throw to Drew, who made a perfect throw to Norris, who caught the ball and made the tag on Jones as he slid home. Donaldson made a ranging catch to end the top of the fourth inning. He ran all the way to the tarp and fell over the top of the rolled-up rain protector as he hauled in the ball. AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 20,342. Dot RaceGold wins the dot race. White bumped Green off the track right before the finish line. Up NextThe A's will go for the series sweep on Sunday. The Orioles announced their starter for Sunday shortly before Saturday's game. They have decided to go with lefty Randy Wolf (5-10, 5.69 ERA). It will be Wolf's first start for Baltimore, and his first since Aug. 19 with Milwaukee. He will be the third lefty in a row the A's face. Dan Straily (2-0, 3.42 ERA) will be on the mound for the A's. It will be his fifth career start. The A's have won all four games started by Straily this season.

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