Sometimes it feels like your team isn’t meant to win. The Orioles Sunday afternoon 7-5 loss to the Athletics was one of those times.
The first inning was an omen of awful things to come. The Orioles gift wrapped the Athletics their first run of the day with some shoddy defense.
Following a Matt Olson single, Ramón Laureano went from first to third base. DJ Stewart collected the hit and threw it in the direction to Ramón Urías. But the throw bounced and Urías failed to corral it. As the ball bounded away, Laureano trotted home to give the A’s a 1-0 advantage. Jed Lowrie doubled the lead with a base hit to score Olson moments later.
Fortunately, the Orioles did bring their bats this afternoon and began to claw back. In the top of the second inning, Pedro Severino doubled down the left field line for the O’s first hit of the game. He then became their first run when Freddy Galvis singled him home.
Austin Hays stayed hot in the top of the third inning with his fourth home run of the season to tie things at two runs apiece.
How can you not be romantic about Haysball? pic.twitter.com/TwOKKcbHAN— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 2, 2021
The good feelings would be short-lived as the A’s reclaimed their two-run lead in the bottom of the frame.
Sean Murphy opened the inning by being hit by a pitch. Olson then left the park for the seventh time on the year, making it 4-2 in favor of the home team.
The back-and-forth nature of this game continued in the top of the fifth as the O’s once again tied the score on a trio of singles. Stewart led off with a base hit. A Hays knock gave them runners on the corners, and a wild pitch made it runners on second and third. Both came home on Trey Mancini’s bouncer through the left side of the infield.
A few innings later in the seventh, Mancini struck again to give the O’s a brief lead. He served a liner into right field to drive in Urías, who had reached earlier via a one-out walk.
Of course, Oakland wouldn’t stay down long. They scored again in the bottom of the seventh inning but not before Cedric Mullins showed off his arm a little bit.
Murphy led off the frame with a walk, but he was then thrown out by Mullins trying to get to third on an Olson single. The O’s centerfielder may not have the strongest arm, but it’s plenty accurate.
But that wouldn’t be enough to keep the A’s off the scoreboard. Olson had moved to second base on the Mullins throw and then scored on another Lowrie single to knot things at 5-5.
️"CHAPMAN'S GOING TO SCORE THE TYING RUN!" pic.twitter.com/f5gb48MRWx— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 2, 2021
The Orioles would come within a snow-cone catch of taking the lead back, but it wasn’t meant to be. With Ryan Mountcastle standing at second base following a double, Stewart stepped to the plate against Yusmeiro Petit.
Petit opened the at-bat with a pair of high-80s offerings that he blew past Stewart. He tossed a third into the zone, and this time Stewart jumped all over it, crushing a line drive to deep left-center field. A’s center fielder Laureano gave chase, leaped towards the wall, and stuck his glove out to rob Stewart of extra bases and dose the O’s chances at a win.
Reminder that Ramón is a Gold Glove caliber outfielder. pic.twitter.com/9bGTRoMkTz— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 2, 2021
As luck would have it, Laureano then stepped into the box in the bottom of the inning and launched what would prove to be the game-winning, two-run homer. The Orioles offense couldn’t fight back this time. The A’s won 7-5.
All things considered, this was a successful series for the O’s. They took two out of three on the road against a good team. Early struggles from the defense and some bad luck on offense made it tough on Sunday.
Bruce Zimmermann was not great. He gave up seven hits and lasted just 4.2 innings. But he might have done better if the first inning had gone a bit differently.
The O’s will continue their west coast trip on Monday night as they begin a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Dean Kremer (0-2, 8.40 ERA) is on the mound for the Birds. First pitch is set for 10:10 p.m. from T-Mobile Park.