Orioles watch lead slip away in eighth

Orioles watch lead slip away in eighth

OAKLAND -- Chad Pinder hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth to cap a two-run rally for the A's, who beat the Orioles, 5-4, Friday night at the Coliseum.

With the A's down by one, Jed Lowrie hit his Major League-leading 37th double to drive in Matt Joyce and move Marcus Semien to third. Two batters later, Pinder flew out to right fielder Seth Smith, whose strong throw was too late to nab a sliding Semien at the plate.

"Thank goodness Marcus was running," Pinder said. "[Smith] had a pretty dang good arm, and he put that right on the money all the way to home. Luckily, we had Marcus over there and he beat it home."

Pinder's go-ahead sac fly

Pinder stays hot since return from DL 

The loss drops the Orioles two games back in the race for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez struck out a season-high 11 in 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, all in the fourth. He left the game after being struck in the right calf by a hard grounder from Pinder.

"I was lucky that it didn't get any bones," Jimenez said. "It got a little inflammation in there, but it's going to go away."

Jimenez whiffs 11 in 11 seconds

After the A's took the lead in the fourth following Matt Olson's towering two-run homer to center, the Orioles regained the advantage in the fifth. Jonathan Schoop followed up one-out singles by Tim Beckham and Manny Machado by drilling a double off the wall in right-center, scoring both runners.

Schoop's two-run double

A's starter Paul Blackburn gave up four runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Adam Jones took him deep leading off the second, his second homer in as many days.

"I think the ball was just elevated a little more today. You saw better swings against him, and when the ball's elevated, maybe it's a little flatter as far as the movement he gets," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He ended up with 12 baserunners, so he minimized the damage a little bit to keep us in the game. If that's a bad one for him, [but] we'll take it."

Jones' solo home run

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Timely two: Blackburn allowed five of the first six hitters he faced in the fourth to reach base, but got two outs on one swing from Orioles cleanup hitter Jones. With first and third and nobody out, Blackburn got Jones to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. He escaped the inning with only one run allowed.

"Double play always helps too," Melvin said. "When you're on the ropes, any time you can get two outs with only one swing of the bat it helps you out and gets you confidence."

Blackburn escapes a jam in 4th

Jimenez exits early: The A's couldn't muster much offense outside of the three-run fourth against Jimenez, but the momentum changed once Baltimore's starter exited. The Orioles held a one-run lead, but the bullpen was unable to hold down the fort. Brad Brach (3-3) took the loss after giving up two runs (one earned) while retiring two batters. More >

"Brad's been great for us and tonight just wasn't his night," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Just got some balls elevated and command was a little off. But Brad's been great for us and we wouldn't have the opportunities we've had without him."

Jimenez exits the game

QUOTABLE
"To be the type of pitcher I am, whenever someone is on, I just try and limit the damage and try to stay away from the crooked numbers as much as you can. That's a really good offense over there, and tonight I was leaving balls over the middle and they were capitalizing on it. I tip my hat them -- they've got a good team over there." -- Blackburn, on facing the Orioles

POWELL SCRATCHED
Rookie Boog Powell, just acquired by the A's in a trade with Seattle Sunday, was called up Friday and put in the starting lineup, but was scratched 45 minutes before the game. Melvin said that Powell has an upper respiratory infection and the team chose to sit him as a precaution. More >

WHAT'S NEXT
Orioles: Right-hander Dylan Bundy (11-8, 4.15 ERA) will try to extend his winning streak to four games when Baltimore continues its road trip Saturday evening at the Coliseum. Bundy has allowed two earned runs over his last 15 innings. First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. ET.

Athletics: Left-hander Sean Manaea (8-6, 4.15 ERA) will look to end a skid when he takes the mound at 6:05 p.m. PT Saturday night. Manaea has pitched a combined 6 1/3 innings in his last two starts, allowing six runs in each outing.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Orioles on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.