Ramón Laureano single-handedly ruined the Orioles’ chances for a sweep of their series in Oakland. Laureano made a spectacular catch against DJ Stewart in the top of the eighth, then hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning, sending the Orioles to a 7-5 loss on Sunday before 5,862 at Oakland Coliseum.
The Orioles (13-15) had won three straight and the first two against Oakland (17-12) but failed to win in their fifth attempt to get back to .500.
“I’m really proud of how our team played this series,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Our bats today were good today against some good pitching.”
Trey Mancini, who had three RBIs, drove in two to tie the score at 4 in the fifth, and his seventh-inning single gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead.
Matt Chapman scored from second on an infield single against Paul Fry by Jed Lowrie in the bottom of the seventh to tie it at 5.
In the top of the eighth, Ryan Mountcastle doubled with one out. After Freddy Galvis popped out, Stewart hit a drive to center that was caught at the top of the wall by Laureano, saving at least a run. Laureano and the ball arrived at the fence at the same time, but he held on to the ball, which was in the top of the webbing in his glove.
Laureano’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth against Travis Lakins (1-2) gave Oakland the 7-5 lead.
With one out against Lou Trivino in the ninth, Austin Hays, who had homered in the fourth, walked but Mancini’s line drive was snagged by leftfielder Mark Canha, his second excellent play.
Trivino retired Franco on a grounder for his fifth save.
Yusmeiro Petit (4-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, with a huge assist from Laureano, for the win.
The Orioles were looking for their first sweep in Oakland since 2005 but must be satisfied with winning two of three.
“We came in on the road, long flight, time change, a lot of variables thrown our way,” Hays said. “We were able to punch them in the mouth the first two games.
“They came out swinging early, and they were able to take advantage of some of Bruce [Zimmermann’s] mistakes. We fought back in there. We were able to take the lead. They just didn’t give in today, no matter what, didn’t give up any outs.
“We really hit the ball great late in the game. We were getting walks. We were getting runners on. We had opportunities. DJ put a great swing on the ball, and the play Laureano made, that’s going to be the No. 1 play on ESPN tonight.”
Zimmermann’s day: Zimmermann allowed four runs, one unearned, on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.
The Orioles committed two errors on one play in the first, leading to a run, one by Stewart on a throw from right field and another by Ramón Urias, who failed to catch Stewart’s relay and threw it wildly to the plate, allowing Matt Olson to advance to third. He scored on Lowrie’s single.
Olson hit a two-run home run in the third to give Oakland a 4-2 lead.
Zimmermann has failed to complete five innings in his last three starts, and his ERA is 5.40.
“It’s a learning process,” Zimmermann said. “It’s the big leagues. It’s going to be difficult at times. I don’t think anybody, especially myself, I never expected it to be a smooth ride the entire time, but I think there some positives from this game that I can take away, especially moving on from the last couple of starts.”
Notes: Four of Laureano’s five home runs have come against the Orioles. … All four of Hays’ home runs have been hit against Oakland. … Mountcastle had two hits and has hit in seven straight. … Urias made two errors at second base, his first two errors in 14 games there. … Rightfielder Anthony Santander, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of a sprained left ankle, is progressing and should be beginning baseball activities soon, Hyde said. … Right-handed pitcher Hunter Harvey, who’s on the 60-day injured list because of a strained left oblique, is also progressing and should be ready to pitch when he’s eligible. … The Orioles begin a three-game series at Seattle on Monday night. Dean Kremer (0-2, 8.40 ERA) will pitchfor the Orioles. The Mariners haven’t named a starter. Game time is 10:10 pm. … Jorge López (1-3, 7.48) will face face Justin Dunn (1-0, 3.98) on Tuesday night, and John Means (3-0, 1.70) will face Yusei Kukuchi (1-1, 4.40) on Wednesday.
Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions later this week. You may leave yours in the comment box below or email them to: Rich@BaltimoreBaseball.com.