BALTIMORE (AP) — The Oakland Athletics kept getting hits and scoring runs, circling the bases in a display that manager Bob Melvin described as “remarkable.”
Finally, deep into the third inning, Ramon Laureano hit a popup to the shortstop. A mock cheer swelled from the small crowd of 10,480 at Camden Yards.
“I was like, ‘Ooh.’ I didn’t realize nobody had gotten out yet,” Oakland slugger Matt Olson said.
Olson homered during a 10-run inning in which the first 11 batters reached base, and the Athletics blanked the Baltimore Orioles 10-0 Wednesday night. With their sixth straight victory, the A’s moved within one game of the Yankees for the top AL wild card. New York lost 3-1 at Minnesota.
Oakland totaled 10 hits and two walks in its biggest inning of the year. Olson provided the big blow — a three-run shot off Andrew Cashner (4-15) — and three different players had two hits.
“I don’t know if I’ve been a part of one of those,” Olson said. “It seemed like everybody was working the count and getting a good pitch and squaring it up.”
Oakland sent 15 batters to the plate and generated more than enough offense to match its longest winning streak of the season. The A’s trail first-place Houston by three games in the AL West and own a comfortable lead for the second wild card.
Daniel Mengden (7-6) pitched five innings of no-hit relief after entering in the second for starter Liam Hendriks, who went one inning by design.
Baltimore’s lone hit was a clean single to left field in the first by Trey Mancini. The final 20 batters went down in order following a third-inning walk to Jace Peterson.
“We didn’t hit anything hard,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Nothing to really put your arms around and feel proud of.”
The A’s have already clinched their 10th series win in the last 13 (10-1-2) and will go for a three-game sweep of the woeful Orioles on Thursday night. After going a major league-best 34-15 since the All-Star break, Oakland is 32 games over .500 (89-57) for the first time since September 2003.
Baltimore has lost six in a row to fall to 41-104, the worst record in the majors. It’s the eighth time this season the Orioles have been mired in a skid of at least six games.
After breezing through the first two innings, Cashner never got another out. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Matt Chapman, who hit a two-run double.
Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis followed with singles before Olson hit his 26th home run. Three singles and a walk followed before Cody Carroll retired Laureano.
Chapman followed with an RBI single for the 10th run.
“Pretty remarkable inning,” Melvin said. “You don’t see that happen very often. It was nice to be able to create a little distance.”
There was one remaining moment of suspense. Needing a home run to complete the cycle in the ninth inning, Laureano looked at a called third strike.
Athletics: Oakland has used the disabled list 26 times this season, compared to 23 last year. The club record is 27, set in 2016.
Orioles: DH Mark Trumbo (knee surgery) and LHP Richard Bleier (lat surgery) dropped by the clubhouse, even though both are done for the year. The hope is that both will be available at the start of the 2019 season. “We like where it’s headed. Everything’s been fine,” Showalter said. “I wouldn’t commit that they’re both going to be there on opening day, but there’s a chance.”
YOUTH IS SERVED
Left fielder DJ Stewart became the 14th player to make his major league debut with Baltimore this season, tying the Orioles record set in 1955.
The Orioles will start a pair of rookie pitchers in the upcoming series against the White Sox. Luis Ortiz — part of the haul in the July trade for Jonathan Schoop — makes his first major league start Friday night, and Yefry Ramirez will go Saturday.
Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson (3-4, 4.02 ERA), who has a 6.55 ERA in two career starts against Baltimore, gets the ball in the series finale Thursday night.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (7-14, 5.58 ERA) looks for his first victory since July 29. He’s 0-5 in his last seven starts with 11 home runs allowed.
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