O'S RALLY, THEN FALL
The Orioles hadn't had a lead in the series in 26 innings when they scored three times in the eighth inning off A's reliever Andrew Brown to turn a two-run deficit into a 5-4 lead. Brian Roberts, who started the game on the bench, tied the game with a two-run, two-out single with the bases loaded. Melvin Mora then gave the Orioles the lead with a double down the right-field line. But the A's scored a run in the eighth on Frank Thomas' fielder's choice with the bases loaded and one out. They then won it in the 10th when Mark Ellis hammered Lance Cormier's 1-0 fastball off the foul pole in left field.
MISTAKES KILL O'S
Before Cormier's ill-fated pitch, the Orioles had plenty of chances to take control of the game but, as has been the case recently, they were their own worst enemy. Mora booted Emil Brown's ground ball in the eighth and Brown wound up scoring the tying run. In the same inning, shortstop Luis Hernandez didn't aggressively play Thomas' ground ball with the bases loaded and one out, keeping the Orioles from turning a potential inning-ending double play. Hernandez also got picked off first base in the 10th, adding to the Orioles' offensive problems, which included striking out nine times and stranding 10 base runners.
WALKER'S STRUGGLES CONTINUE
Orioles left-hander Jamie Walker was the club's best all-around reliever last year, but the veteran continues to struggle to get key outs. Manager Dave Trembley brought him in to face left-handed hitter Jack Hannahan yesterday with a man on first and two outs in the sixth inning. Hannahan slammed a double over the head of right fielder Nick Markakis, extending the A's lead to 4-2. Walker, who allowed two consecutive singles to let Oakland take the lead in Monday's series opener, has given up 10 hits in 29 at-bats to left-handed hitters.
A four-game set with the Kansas City Royals gets underway at Kauffman Stadium tonight at 8:10 with Orioles' right-hander Daniel Cabrera (2-1, 4.06) opposing Royals' rookie right-hander Luke Hochevar (2-1, 4.86).