Carroll County Times

Birds power past A's

BALTIMORE - By the time Saturday's second inning ended, the Baltimore Orioles didn't need to be in tight-contest mode.

Passable starting pitching would've been OK for a change. Mistakes wouldn't have been their undoing.

The middle contest against the Oakland Athletics provided Baltimore with one of the rare instances it could speed up the final innings, sit back, and still blast music in the clubhouse when the night was over.

Chris Davis had a season-high three hits and a career-high-tying four RBIs, three other Orioles had multiple hits and the home team put up a five-spot in the second en route to a 10-1 win over the Athletics before 26,926 at Camden Yards.

Adam Jones had three hits, three runs and an RBI to help Baltimore match its highest offensive output of the year. Robert Andino chipped in three hits and an RBI, and Wilson Betemit added two hits and an RBI as part of the Orioles' 14-hit onslaught.

"It was good for us to put some distance between us and give our bullpen a break," Davis said. "Those guys have been playing well, throwing the ball and it was nice to see the offense come together and put some runs up."

The Orioles (13-8) won for the fifth time in six games as manager Buck Showalter moved two wins away from career victory No. 1,000.

To do so, Baltimore rocked Oakland (11-11) for the most runs it has allowed all season. The Athletics, who entered the game leading the American League with a 2.86 ERA, saw their three-game winning streak halted in large part because starter Tyson Ross (1-1) surrendered nine runs in four innings.

Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (2-0) earned the win with perhaps his best start yet for Baltimore. Chen had just one perfect inning, but he stayed composed with men on base, limiting Oakland to one run on six hits and two walks while striking out four over seven innings.

He did have one scary moment when he took a liner off his mid-section in the fourth, but was able to stay in the game for his first home win.

"For the first two innings, I am trying to find where the strike zone is at. And like the third inning I just let it go, let it pitch," Chen said through his interpreter. "I feel like I am getting improved every time I go out on the mound. I feel like I am getting better and better."

It was the first time Chen completed seven frames in four career starts, and this time, he had plenty of margin for error.

After Oakland threatened in the first inning by putting two on with no outs and loading the bases with two down, Chen escaped unscathed.

Baltimore's bats then thundered to life in the bottom of the second. The Orioles opened the frame with four straight hits off Ross on the way to batting around and taking a 5-0 lead.

Jones legged out a dribbler to second to start the inning and Betemit then singled to put runners on the corners. Jones scored on a Davis single. With Ronny Paulino at the plate, Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki fired the ball into center trying to catch Davis at second, putting both runners in scoring position. Paulino drove them both in with a single up the middle.

Two batters later, Andino added an RBI single and two batters after that, J.J. Hardy hit a sacrifice fly.

"There were a lot of good at-bats there," Showalter said. "The outs we were making were productive, too. That's how you end up with a big inning."

Betemit increased the Orioles' lead to 6-0 with an RBI double in the third. Baltimore tacked on three more in the fifth on a Jones RBI single and a Davis two-run single.

The Orioles scored their final run in the seventh on Davis' fourth homer of the year, a moonshot to Eutaw Street.

That allowed Baltimore to relax a bit for just its third win by more than three runs all season.

"We just came out swinging the bats," Andino said. "It was just one of those days. The bats came alive and we tried to get good momentum going in to finish it up tomorrow."

NOTE: Nolan Reimold extended his hitting streak to 13 in a row.