BALTIMORE – No one likes playing doubleheaders especially not the day/night variety, which can keep players at the park for 12 hours or longer.
After a lackluster first game, the Orioles came alive in the second game of Saturday’s hastily arranged split doubleheader to beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 before 29,862 at Oriole Park on Saturday night.
In the first game, the Orioles lost to Oakland 8-4.
“You come into a doubleheader, you look at the percentage. It's hard to do. It's early in the season, but you're trying to win that second game because you don't want to go into tomorrow trying to salvage one game of a three-game set. Now you have a chance to win the series against obviously a good team. It puts a whole different perspective on the long day that we spent here. If I had to win only one of the two, I'd want to win the second one,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Ubaldo Jimenez (2-3) became the second Oriole to work eight innings in the last three games. He allowed two runs on nine hits.
“He was solid, obviously,” Showalter said.
“He dialed up something we needed. Anytime you’re playing a doubleheader, you hope you get deep in the games with your starters so you don’t pay the penalty for a long time. Sometimes with a doubleheader, it’s a long time before you get back on your feet without any off days coming, so that was, you couldn’t ask for better. He emptied the tank in the eighth.”
The Orioles (17-12) scored four runs in the third inning off Jesse Hahn (1-1). With one out, Caleb Joseph singled, and Manny Machado doubled. It was his 15th double in 29 games.
Joseph scored on Hyun Soo Kim’s infield out. Machado came home on a single by Adam Jones. Chris Davis broke an 0-for-16 hitless streak with a two-run home run to right-center. It was Davis’ eighth home run of the season.
“I felt like the last couple games, my at-bats have been getting a lot better, my swings just didn’t look right the last couple of weeks. I thought it was starting to get there. Felt like I’ve been seeing the ball well all year, just either haven’t had a lot to hit or been chasing pitches out of the zone. It was good to get a good swing tonight and we’ll try to keep it rolling,” Davis said.
The lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth when Jonathan Schoop scored when Joseph hit into a double play. Schoop extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single.
Jimenez allowed four hits in the first four innings, and then two runs in the fifth.
Yonder Alonso nearly homered to center as Jones almost made a great catch of his drive. He ended up with a double, and scored on Josh Phegley’s single. Josh Reddick’s RBI single for Oakland (14-17) cut the Orioles’ lead to 5-2.
After Reddick’s single, finished with three scoreless innings, striking out the side in the eighth.
The length was key for Jimenez, who joined Kevin Gausman as eight-inning me.
"That's everything for a starting pitcher. That's the kind that you put in your mind, try to do go as deep as you can. It's going to be good for the team. It's going to be good for the bullpen. They just want to be used the way they're supposed to be used,” Jimenez said.
Zach Britton pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
“It was a good game for us. I thought the first game we kind of looked dead. We showed a little life towards the end but we didn’t look like ourselves. It was good to regroup and come back out the second game. Ubaldo threw the ball extremely well, we played great defense and we were finally able to string some hits together and score some runs for him,” Davis said.
“It’s tough with the weather, with it being cool. It was actually nice towards the end of the first game and at the beginning of the second game; you just know you’re in for a long day so you’ve got to try to grind through it.”
NOTES: The Orioles, who had optioned T.J. McFarland to Norfolk before the first game to make room for Paul Janish, added him as the 26th man for the second game. He now heads to Norfolk where he’ll start for the Tides on Tuesday.
“It's nothing he hasn't done. He's kind of the guy with the option,” Showalter said.
-Kendall Graveman (1-3, 4.40) faces Chris Tillman (3-1, 2.81) on Sunday afternoon. … The attendance was the largest since Opening Day. … Reddick equaled a career high with four hits. … Davis’ homer was the 99th he’s hit at Oriole Park.