Their 14-9 loss changed that, as All-Star closer
"An anomaly," Johnson later called it.
Friday night’s four-hour game included five lead changes and 10 combined relievers, as the
But the A's are playing better than most teams. Winners of 12 of their last 14 games, they have already leap-frogged the O's in the AL wild-ward hunt. Their win Friday put them 2 ½ games ahead of the Orioles for the second wild-card spot.
Johnson entered the game having converted 30 of 32 save opportunities, but six of the seven hitters he faced reached base as he allowed five hits – including an RBI single by
Coco Crisp’s two-run single three batters after Norris’ hit chased Johnson from the game, and
"I'm not going to beat myself up too much about it because I think it's an anomaly today," Johnson said. "Knowing what my preparation was, how I went about it, I did everything except for make a couple pitches and obviously the end result wasn't what we wanted. So I'm not going to focus on [things] negatively, there's a lot of good that got us to this point."
Johnson has now allowed five earned runs in two of his eight outings since the All-Star break, that after allowing just five earned runs in 37 outings before the break and pitching to a 1.21 ERA. In his eight outings since the break, Johnson has allowed 13 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings and owns an 18.47 ERA. Since his string of 25 straight converted saves attempts was broken on June 2, Johnson has a 6.97 ERA in 22 games.
“They didn't really square up a ball off him,” Orioles manager
The loss was the Orioles’ fourth in their last five games and left them nine games back of the division-leading
“That game could have went either way,” Orioles designated hitter
The Orioles (52-48) took a 9-8 lead with a three-run eighth inning – scoring all their runs with two outs. The inning was capped by
The O’s also took a 6-5 lead in a four-run fifth on
Socolovich, who threw just nine strikes out of his 22 pitches in the inning, was booed as his walked off the field in the middle of the sixth.
The Orioles, who scored just eight runs in the first three games of this six-game home stand, were able to come back from a 5-0 hole that starter
Making his third start since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, Britton allowed four of the first five batters he faced to score in the first.
"Sometimes if you have a bad inning it feels like it's taking forever, sometimes it goes real fast," Britton said. "Today was more of in between. I felt like I was making some good pitches here and there. [It was] really a couple mistakes, a walk in that inning too. I felt pretty calm out there today. I knew I didn't have good stuff, I knew I had to compete."
Britton (6 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) gave up a homer to
In the bottom of the fifth, Jones took a first-pitch delivery from Oakland starter
Jones' 24th homer of the season was the 16th that has either tied the game (3) or given the Orioles the lead (13). In the Orioles' 100th game of the season, Jones is now just one home run shy of his single-season career high from last season.