There would be no opportunities for another late-game reversal Saturday night in Oakland — the Orioles made sure of that before their first chance to bat was through.
In their 12-5 win over the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum, the Orioles sent 11 men to bat in the first inning and nine of the first 10 reached base as they scored seven runs. That big inning was all right-hander Dylan Bundy needed to improve himself to 12-8 on the season, and the Orioles back to just a game below .500 at 58-59. They are 1½ games out of the second wild-card spot.
“It was very important, and I commend our team for putting together quality at-bats and putting up a seven-spot in the first inning,” said shortstop Tim Beckham, who had a season-high-tying four hits and a career-high three runs scored. “That was huge. It takes the breath out of the other team, and they came back and put up two or three runs, but we had a seven spot in the first so we wasn't worried about it at all.”
The Orioles’ 20 hits tied a season-high, and their eight doubles were their most in a single game since 2012.
The list of offensive standouts was long, and all parties got involved in the seven-run first inning. Beckham's leadoff walk was the first of five times he reached base, and he scored from first on a double by third baseman Manny Machado. Center fielder Adam Jones' double scored Machado and provided the first of his three RBIs, a count that could have been higher had second baseman Jonathan Schoop not been thrown out at home on the play.
Rookie designated hitter Trey Mancini singled to score Jones, and after a double by Mark Trumbo moved him to third, first baseman Chris Davis singled to drive in the Orioles' fourth run. That chased Oakland starter Sean Manaea, whose only out came courtesy of Schoop on the base paths. Michael Brady allowed another run when catcher Welington Castillo grounded into a forceout, and two more scored when Beckham doubled to left field.
All told, it was the Orioles' first seven-run first inning since May 20, 2005 against the New York Yankees, according to STATS, LLC.
“You enjoy it a little more when it happens later in the game,” manager Buck Showalter said. “You know they're going to make a run at you, which they did.”
Another big day for Beckham
Beckham's eye-popping start for the Orioles continued when he reached based in his first four plate appearances and five of six overall Saturday, scoring three times and driving in three runs to give him nine RBIs and 14 runs scored with the Orioles.
He has 12 extra-base hits in 12 games, including three doubles Saturday, and ended the day hitting .531 since joining the Orioles on July 31.
“It looks like playing outside agrees with him,” Showalter said, making reference to his performance away from his old indoor home stadium, Tropicana Field.
Beckham maintained his tunnel-vision that has carried him to such success since coming to the Orioles in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I'm not thinking about it,” he said. “I just go day to day, at-bat to at-bat and keep having good at-bats. ... It definitely feels good. We're playing more winning baseball than we are losing. It's always fun to win, you know?”
Bundy seemed plenty pleased with his newest teammate.
“That’s very impressive,” he said. “It doesn’t surprise me, because I think he’s gotten me two or three times now when he was with the Rays. So, I’m glad to have him on our side now, I know that.”
Breezy night for Bundy
Bundy backed up his first career 10-strikeout game Monday with another one Saturday, fanning the last two batters he faced to give him 10 again as he completed his 16th quality start in 23 tries.
His 17 swinging strikes — 11 of which came on his slider, according to Baseball Savant — tied a career high for the 24-year-old right-hander, whose ERA is now 4.17 on the season after he allowed three runs on seven hits with three walks in six innings.
Most of the damage came early, as he walked leadoff man Boog Powell and saw him score on a home run by left fielder Khris Davis in the first inning. Bundy also allowed a leadoff home run to first baseman Matt Olson in the second inning.
Oakland’s other two runs came off reliever Miguel Castro in the eighth inning.
Adam adds on
After their explosive first inning, the Orioles only put runs across again in the fourth and ninth innings. Brady hit left fielder Joey Rickard to open the fourth and allowed another double to Beckham before a two-out single by Jones drove in two runs.
“But I thought the biggest hit of the night was Adam's hit in the fourth inning, because they're getting ready to be a momentum swing there and it knocked a little starch out,” Showalter said. “That's a typical Adam Jones base hit.”
Jones also singled in the eighth inning to make him 6-for-13 with two home runs and seven RBIs since the Orioles re-installed him as the cleanup hitter when they arrived in Oakland, raising his average to .273.
Craig Gentry came off the bench and doubled in the ninth. He scored on a single by Davis, who had two RBIs and reached three times in the win.
Rickard all right
Rickard started Saturday because of his success against left-handed pitching, but he never even got to face Manaea. That didn’t stop him from finishing with three hits and three runs scored, raising his average to .258.