McCarthy carries Oakland past Orioles

BALTIMORE - With Brandon McCarthy close to top form and Jake Arrieta not, the Baltimore Orioles had little magic on their side Friday.

For the second straight start, Arrieta was doomed by a big inning and the Orioles bowed to the Oakland Athletics 5-2 to end a season-long four-game winning streak before 18,297 at Camden Yards.

Baltimore fell to 12-8, as Arrieta (1-2) allowed four runs on four hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings. However, he was pretty solid before and after a three-run second frame.

Six days earlier, the right-hander had faced one batter over the minimum through four innings before falling apart in the fifth to allow five runs in 4 1-3.

Arrieta hasn't won since Opening Day and since pitching to a 2.66 ERA through three starts, lasting into the seventh inning in each, he has now allowed nine runs in his last 10 innings (8.10 ERA).

Arrieta said the last two starts have been the most frustrating because of the opponents' big inning in each.

"[It's] just kind of a two- or three-hitter stretch there where things kind of got out of control," he said. "Personally, I've got to stop those kind of things from happening. Being a guy who is where I am in the rotation, I'm going up against guys who are top-notch starters.

"That kind of stuff just can't happen. I'm aware of that and I'm going to fix it."

McCarthy (1-3) held Baltimore to two runs in seven innings to earn the win and Grant Balfour converted his sixth save for Oakland (11-10), which won its third straight to move over .500 for the first time this season.

There were two events which fell into the you-don't-see-that-everyday category that might've stood out above all.

Athletics reliever Ryan Cook tied a major league record by striking out four batters in the eighth inning, accomplishing the rare feat for just the 59th time in baseball history.

All four Orioles struck out swinging, but the third, Adam Jones, reached on a wild pitch to the backstop. Cook rebounded right away, fanning Matt Wieters on eight pitches.

"Oh yeah, that was awesome. I was glad to be a part of that," Jones said sarcastically. "That happens. ... It doesn't happen often, but it happens. You just try not to be part of it again."

The other strange event had nothing to do with baseball.

During the seventh-inning stretch, a fan ran onto the field and eluded security before sliding across the plate. Moments later, rather than wait for police, home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg tackled the fan and held him in check until the authorities escorted him off the field.

Jones applauded Kellogg but was none too amused by the fan.

"That was awesome. ... I'm sick and tired of these guys running on the field, man," Jones said. "A K-9 would be fine, just the cop, train them, go get them because it's pathetic. It's so annoying. You're stopping the game. I understand you're drunk. I mean, go do that on someone else's expense.

"I'd [advocate] that people get tased. I enjoy that. You don't run on the field and just disturb a game that's going on. It's private property and I'm sick and tired."

Back to baseball, the Orioles struck in the first on a Nick Markakis sacrifice fly, but never recovered after falling behind 3-1 in the second on Kurt Suzuki's RBI double and Eric Sogard's two-run homer.

The teams each scored once in the sixth, with Jones driving in the Orioles' run to cut it to 4-2. But Oakland tacked on an insurance run in the eighth.

Reliever Kevin Gregg pitched a perfect ninth for Baltimore, making his first appearance since April 18.

But the Orioles had been undone much earlier.

"We didn't do much off McCarthy," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Jake almost got through six innings. He never really got in sync rhythm-wise. His command wasn't what he's capable of, but he kept us in the ballgame."

"It was as much a case of us not scoring runs off a good pitcher, which happens."

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