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O's drop series opener to A's

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O's drop series opener to A's

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer while playing with a sore right wrist, and the AL wild card-leading Oakland Athletics beat Baltimore 3-2 on Friday night to prevent the Orioles from moving into sole possession of first place in the AL East.

Jonny Gomes hit a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth to back A's rookie Tommy Milone in the opener of a key series between playoff contenders. Oakland (83-61) received a clubhouse visit before the game from pitcher Brandon McCarthy , more than a week after he was struck in the head with a line drive and underwent surgery.

The Orioles (81-63) remained tied atop the division with the New York Yankees , who lost 6-4 at home to Tampa Bay.

Milone (13-10) allowed one earned run over 6 1-3 innings to win for the fourth time in five starts. He induced three double plays, allowed six hits, struck out two and walked two. His 13 wins are an Oakland rookie record.

A's starters have walked three or fewer batters in 43 straight games.

McCarthy, the team's opening-day starter, was hit in the head by a liner from the Angels' Erick Aybar on Sept. 5 and underwent surgery. He was released from the hospital Tuesday.

Gomes had everybody sign a batting helmet for the pitcher with the words "heads up" written on the bill.

Cespedes, the rookie from Cuba, connected for his 19th home run. That gave Oakland 85 homers since the All-Star break.

Cespedes played left field and batted cleanup a day after leaving a loss to the Angels in the fifth inning after injuring his right wrist on a slide.

"I'm going to rest after we get a championship," Cespedes said. "I'm going to be in the lineup every day."

Chris Davis then tied it at 2 when he hit his 26th home run leading off the fifth.

The sellout crowd of 35,067 - a big turnout for fireworks night - booed Baltimore starter Joe Saunders (2-2) when he intentionally walked Cespedes in the fifth.
O
akland's bullpen produced another impressive game. After All-Star Ryan Cook struck out two in a perfect eighth, Grant Balfour finished for his 18th save in 20th chances.

Matt Wieters beat out an infield single to start the ninth and Xavier Avery entered to pinch run. Pinch-hitter Endy Chavez struck out swinging, then Mark Reynolds flied out. Catcher Derek Norris threw out Avery stealing to end the 2-hour, 37-minute game.

Saunders allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two. He had a two-start winning streak stopped in his fourth outing since being acquired from Arizona on Aug. 26.

The left-hander is 13-5 in 20 career starts against the A's, but was 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA over his previous four against Oakland with two complete games and a shutout coming into Friday.

The Orioles gave Saunders a lead in the third when Manny Machado scored on third baseman Josh Donaldson 's error. The ball hit off of Donaldson's glove arm and popped high toward shortstop Stephen Drew .

Prior to this season, the last time these clubs met after the All-Star break each with records above .500 was Sept. 2, 1992, according to STATS LLC.

Oakland No. 9 hitter Adam Rosales doubled and scored as the A's improved to 52-4 when giving up two or fewer runs.

NOTES: A's 3B Brandon Inge underwent successful arthroscopic surgery Thursday on his right shoulder to repair the labrum. The operation was performed in Detroit by Dr. Stephen Lemos, the Tigers' orthopedic surgeon. He hopes to be ready for spring training 2013. ... Orioles LHP Troy Patton (right ankle) is scheduled to throw an inning Sunday at instructional league. ... The Orioles still haven't named a starter for Sunday's series finale. LHP Randy Wolf is a candidate. ... RHP Jarrod Parker (10-8) pitches Saturday against Orioles LHP Zach Britton (5-2).

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Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

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USA TODAY Sports

Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

BALTIMORE -- The Tampa Bay Rays have to wait at least one more day before taking their swings against former teammate Alex Cobb.

Cobb, now with the Baltimore Orioles, was scheduled to face his old team on Tuesday night before the game was postponed by rain.

Thus, Cobb will start Wednesday in the delayed start of this series between the only two AL East teams with losing records.

The rainout will be made up as part of single-admission doubleheader on May 12.

It was the 27th major league game to be postponed this season, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner's office started keeping records in 1986. Detroit's game at Pittsburgh was washed out later Tuesday, raising the total to 28.

Cobb, 30, spent his entire career with the Rays before signing with Baltimore as a free agent on March 21. Over six years with Tampa Bay, the right-hander was 48-35 and one of the leaders of the staff.

"He was a crucial part to this organization's success," Rays starter Chris Archer said. "He's a big-game pitcher and somebody who's very consistent, very routine oriented. The competitive nature rubbed off on me and rubbed off on the other guys in this clubhouse as well."

Cobb signed a $57 million, four-year deal with the Orioles, who will be counting on him to deliver the same kind of pitching and leadership in Baltimore.

Thus far, it hasn't gone well. Cobb got off to a late start because he missed most of spring training, and since his return he's gone 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA.

"Abbreviation has affected that," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's going to get going here. Hopefully he can wait one more start before he does."

Brad Miller was down to bat cleanup for the Rays on Tuesday night before the game was called. Miller knew better than to chat with his old friend beforehand.

"Definitely wouldn't talk to him on his start days," Miller said. "Thought about maybe texting him just to rattle him a little bit, but ... ."

Miller won't know what to think when he sees Cobb wearing the orange and black of the Orioles.

"It's definitely going to be weird seeing him on the mound," Miller said. "I miss Cobb a lot. He was the ultimate competitor."

And that, Miller contends, is what sets Cobb apart from most pitchers.

"He's a bulldog. Really intense, kind of an old-school throwback starting pitcher," Miller said. "He's going to go out there and do anything he can for his team. So that, for me, is obviously his biggest trait."

The rainout came at an opportune time for the Orioles, who are hampered by injuries and have lost nine of 10 games to fall 11 games under .500 (6-17).

Baltimore's projected starting lineup did not include infielder Tim Beckham, who's been bothered by a groin injury and is expected to land on the 10-day disabled list.

With Beckham out and Trey Mancini playing with a tender right knee, manager Buck Showalter would have been operating with a short bench.

Help is on the way: Baltimore claimed utility infielder Jace Peterson on waivers from the New York Yankees. He's expected to arrive Wednesday.

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Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

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USA TODAY Sports

Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

BALTIMORE — The Cleveland Indians figured it would only be a matter of time before their struggling offense provided some support to a solid starting rotation.

Jose Ramirez and the rest of the batting order finally got into a groove Sunday, and the result was a 14-hit attack that carried Corey Kluber and the Indians past the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

Cleveland came into the game with a .211 team batting average and ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs scored. On this day, however, Ramirez hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run drive in the ninth, and Yan Gomes had three hits to lift his batting average 41 points to .261.

"When things are not going my way, I stay positive and work it," Ramirez said through a translator. "I know eventually I'm going to break out."

Ramirez has three homers in two games and a team-leading seven for the season.

"I try not to do too much," Ramirez said. "I just look for a good pitch and then I hit it somewhere."

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Kluber yielded two home runs to Manny Machado, but the Indians twice came from behind before tacking on three runs in the ninth.

"I thought we did a pretty good job," manager Terry Francona said. "When they came back, we came back at them. We kept pushing and took some better swings."

Kluber (3-1) allowed three runs and six hits over seven-plus innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner walked none and struck out four to move past Charles Nagy into sixth place on the Indians' career strikeout list with 1,238.

"It doesn't matter if you feel you pitched well or didn't pitch well. The goal is to end the game with more runs they do," Kluber said. "That's what we did."

Machado's third multihomer game of the season wasn't enough to prevent the Orioles from losing for the ninth time in 10 games, a skid that has dropped them 10 games under .500 (6-16).

"You know what? There's no excuse for what's happening," Machado said. "We need to play better overall. Nobody is in here pointing fingers. We are in here together, and we are going to ride or die together."

Andrew Cashner (1-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven. He's 0-3 with 7.41 ERA in three lifetime appearances against the Indians.

After Machado connected in the first inning, Cleveland went up 2-1 in the fourth when Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso hit successive doubles following a leadoff homer by Ramirez.

Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. After Machado homered, Adam Jones doubled and scored on a single by Chris Davis.

A pair of walks and run-scoring singles by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley put the Indians up 4-3 in the fifth.

"Once you get the lead, you can't give it up," Cashner lamented.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: CF Bradley Zimmer was a late scratch with a mild right ankle sprain. He was replaced by Rajai Davis.

Orioles: LF Trey Mancini missed a second straight game with a swollen right knee. ... DH Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) will begin a three-game stint with Double-A Bowie on Monday, then play three games with Triple-A Norfolk later in the week, manager Buck Showalter said. He won't be rushed to return. "It's important we get it right the first time," Showalter said.

WELL RESTED

Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin threw a side session Saturday and is expected to start Tuesday against the Cubs. Francona opted to skip Tomlin's last scheduled start Wednesday to reset the rotation after Cleveland had two straight games postponed last weekend.

UP NEXT

Indians: Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 3.48 ERA) starts the series finale Monday night. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57) makes his fifth start of the season after allowing 27 hits -- including six homers -- over 21 innings.

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