BALTIMORE (AP) — The Oakland Athletics were not deterred by a six-game losing streak to open the season.
They were simply going to “Ride the Wave,” a mantra the team embraced to get past the adversity.
Jed Lowrie hit a three-run homer and the Athletics won their 13th straight game, building a big lead early and beating the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 on a rainy Saturday night.
“You just go out there and grind on it,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said about the challenging conditions. “Play as long as you can until someone says it’s no longer playable.”
This is the third-longest winning streak in Oakland history. The A’s won 14 straight in 1988 and set a then-American League record with 20 consecutive victories in 2002.
Cleveland broke that mark with 22 straight wins in 2017 — Oakland’s string is the longest in the majors since that Indians run.
The Athletics have outscored opponents 83-36 during their winning streak.
Matt Olson and Mark Canha had two hits and two RBIs apiece for Oakland, which has won nine in row against the Orioles dating to 2019.
“We knew as a team, especially after the first week, we were way better than that,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “Big shout out to the coaches and the manager to have no panicking, It would only take one game to get us going on. That’s what happened. Everybody started feeling better, everybody started to relax a little bit. The pitchers have been amazing. I think they’re a big reason why we started the winning streak. It’s a lot of fun. We’ll go day by day and see how long we can stretch this streak.”
Chris Bassitt (2-2) weathered steady rain that fell at Camden Yards, allowing two runs and eight hits over six innings. He struck out eight and improved to 3-0 in four career starts against Baltimore.
“The hitters take a lot of pressure off the starters because of the amount of runs we’re getting,” Bassitt said. “I think it’s a perfect mix of the hitters trusting the pitchers and the pitchers trusting the hitters.”
The A’s took a 1-0 lead in the first on a bloop single by Olson that scored Canha, who led off with a double against Wade LeBlanc (0-1).
LeBlanc made his first start of the season after five relief appearances.
“Just not being able to get the ball to my glove side,” LeBlanc said. “That’s kind of going to be the pitch that opens everything up for me, and unfortunately tonight it wasn’t there from pretty much the get-go.”
Oakland extended the lead to 4-0 on a two-run single by Canha and a double by Olson in the second that ended LeBlanc’s night. The Orioles scored their first run on a double by Chance Sisco that deflected off first base and into the outfield.
Lowrie answered in the third with his homer over the right-field scoreboard off Tyler Wells, a Rule 5 pick.
“Jed, the story just keeps growing with him,” Melvin said.
Trey Mancini had an RBI double in the fifth that cut the margin to 7-2.
The Orioles have scored two runs or fewer in their last six losses.
Athletics: LHP A.J. Puk (strained biceps) is expected to throw off the mound later this week at an affiliate site in Stockton, California.
Orioles: LHP Keegan Akin had to get stitches in his left index finger after cutting himself with a knife at home. He was being considered to start Saturday prior to the incident. “He’s got stitches for a week to 10 days,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Athletics: LHP Jesús Luzardo (1-1, 5.89 ERA) can help the A’s complete the three-game sweep. He threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Twins on Tuesday.
Orioles: LHP John Means (1-0, 1.52 ERA) will start the finale after getting an additional two days of rest. Means threw seven shutout innings Sunday at Texas in his last outing.
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