Even 8-1 lead isn't safe in historic loss; Defeat in 10 is O's first ever when scoring 12 runs; Monday night's game


OAKLAND, Calif. - Whatever hope might have been generated by the just-completed 6-3 homestand perished Monday night inside Network Associates Coliseum. The Orioles suffered a flashback to April as they managed to turn leads of 8-1 and 12-7 into a 13-12, 10-inning loss to the Oakland Athletics.

Any sense of deja vu was misplaced, however. The Orioles had never lost a game this way. Never.

The game marked the first time since the franchise came to Baltimore in 1954 that the Orioles have lost when scoring 12 runs or more.

Orioles starting pitcher Pat Rapp was unable to be trusted with an 8-1 lead, leaving manager Mike Hargrove to begin a raid on his depleted bullpen before Rapp got his first out of the third inning.

Of the Orioles' 16 hits, none came against a drawn infield after they placed runners at second and third with none out in the ninth.

The AL West-leading A's won their sixth straight game when pinch hitter Jeremy Giambi - the game's 101st hitter - reached Mike Timlin (2-2) for a single that scored his brother, Jason.

Like most back home, Hargrove didn't see the end. He was ejected for arguing plate umpire Scott Higgins' strike zone during the A's four-run sixth inning. The game ended after 2 a.m. EDT.

The A's scored six runs in the third inning on two bases-loaded walks, a two-run double and a bizarre wild pitch-strikeout that bounced through catcher Charles Johnson and resulted in an error and two runs.

"I didn't throw the ball over the plate when I needed to," said Rapp, 0-2 this month despite receiving 32 runs of support in four starts. "There are no excuses."

Five of the A's runs began with walks. The winning run was forced into scoring position by a sixth. The Orioles reopened a 12-7 lead with a four-run fifth, but Alan Mills surrendered four runs before getting his first out in the sixth.

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