Matt Joyce

Early lead fades fast as Orioles settle for series split with lowly Athletics, 9-3

Early lead fades fast as Orioles settle for series split with lowly Athletics, 9-3

An early Orioles lead was erased just as quickly as it was built Sunday in a 9-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics, consigning them to a four-game split with one of the American League's worst clubs at a time when they've never been closer to a playoff spot.

Staked to a 2-0 lead with runs in the first and second inning and having required just 24 pitches to get through three scoreless innings, right-hander Jeremy Hellickson watched things get out of hand quickly in the fourth inning. A leadoff single and a one-out walk put two men on for designated hitter Ryon Healy, who hit a cue shot down the right-field line that plated a run and landed him on second base.

With a man on...

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