When the Orioles look across the field tonight, theyll be looking at a team in many ways similar to themselves.The Oakland Athletics are just as big a surprise as the Orioles.The Athletics are three games in back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West, and four and-a-half ahead of the third-place Los Angeles Angels.Oaklands 82-61record is a game better than Baltimores in the wild-card race.For now, the Orioles (81-62) and the Athletics appear to be headed for postseason play, perhaps meeting in the one-game playoff on Oct. 5.Oakland just beat the Angels three times in a four-game series. At the beginning of the season, most baseball observers thought the AL West would be a tight race between Texas and Los Angeles, but the Athletics have been impressive.How similar are they to the Orioles?After Baltimore lost to Minnesota on July 17, they slipped to 46-44. Since then, theyre a sizzling 35-18.Oakland began the seasons second half at Minnesota with a win, and are 39-18.Theyre in a good spot, mentally and physically, skillwise. You dont do what theyve done over the course of the season without being really good, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.Theyve got it going on.The Athletics have been to Baltimore twice, once in late April and again late in July. The teams have split six games.Last winter, general manager Billy Beane sent starters Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals and Trevor Cahill to Arizona and reliever Andrew Bailey to Boston, puzzling many.The As havent suffered.A lot of the trades theyve made have been really impactful, Showalter said.Josh Reddick, obtained from the Red Sox, has 28 homers and 75 RBIs. The Athletics beat the Orioles out for the services of Yoenis Cespedes, a promising Cuban refugee. Cespedes is batting .287 with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs.Beane, who was credited with building teams with great on-base percentage, has one with a substandard .307 average and a paltry .235 batting average.Tommy Milone, traded by Washington in the Gonzalez deal, starts tonight against Joe Saunders (2-1, 4.24). Milone is their leading winner with a 12-10 record and 3.90 ERA.Jarrod Parker (10-8, 3.56) starts on Saturday against Zach Britton (5-2. 4.72). Parker was the centerpiece of the Cahill trade. The Athletics also picked up closer Ryan Cook in the deal.Rookies A.J. Griffin (6-0, 1.94) and Dan Straily (2-0, 3.42),who starts Sunday, help make up for the absence of Bartolo Colon, suspended last month for using banned substances.I dont want to say theres a lot of similarities between the two teams, Showalter said. Someone might make that case.
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles lost their 107th game, tied for most in a season since their arrival in 1954, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 Monday night.
Rookie Ryan Borucki pitched eight innings of three-hit ball for the Blue Jays, who have won 13 of 17 games between the two bottom teams in the AL East.
Toronto stands 25 games better than the Orioles, whose 43-107 record is worst in the majors. The only other Orioles team with 107 defeats was the 1988 club, which started 0-21 on its way to a 54-107 finish.
This Baltimore team has been blanked 15 times and owns a major league-worst 26-49 record at home. Only 8,198 fans showed up at soggy Camden Yards to watch yet another defeat.
The franchise record for losses is 111, by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. After going 54-100 in 1953, the Browns moved to Baltimore. The major league record is 120 losses, set by the expansion New York Mets in 1962.
Borucki (4-4) struck out seven and walked one in his 15th career start. The left-hander allowed two runners to reach third base, one of whom got there during a near triple play.
With runners on first and second and no outs in the Baltimore third, Austin Wynns hit a low liner to shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who gloved the ball and then let it drop to the ground. The ploy caught the Orioles flat-footed, and Toronto turned a 6-4-3 double play before Baltimore's Renato Nunez barely beat the relay to third base.
The Blue Jays got all the offense they needed in the third inning against Evan Phillips, who was obtained from Atlanta in the July 31 trade that sent Kevin Gausman and Darren O'Day to the Braves.
Making his first major league start, Phillips (0-1) retired the first five batters he faced before Kevin Pillar doubled, Rowdy Tellez hit an RBI single and Danny Jansen homered to left.
Pillar homered in the seventh, and Aledmys Diaz went deep in the ninth.
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Jorge Lopez showed some of the potential the Royals saw when they traded for him in late July, scattering five hits over a career-best seven innings and helping Kansas City rout the Baltimore Orioles 9-1 on Sunday.
The Royals completed a three-game sweep of the only team in the majors with a worse record than theirs.
The only run Lopez (1-4) allowed came in the first, when Jonathan Villar sent a mistake over the left-field wall. Lopez bounced back to strike out a career-high eight without a walk to earn his second win and first since Sept. 29, 2015, when he was still with the Brewers.
Lopez was part of the deal for third baseman Mike Moustakas at the non-waiver trade deadline.
Meibrys Viloria had his first career hit a day after arriving from Class-A Wilmington, a two-run double in the eighth. Alcides Escobar also had three hits and an RBI as Kansas City piled up 14 hits, its sixth straight game with at least 10 and the longest such streak since June 24-29, 2016.
Most of the damage came against David Hess (3-9), who allowed five runs on nine hits and a trio of Baltimore errors -- all of which came after his own mistakes during a dreadful third inning.
The first error came with nobody out, when Hess threw the ball away trying to pick Merrifield off first base. Then, with two down, Hess tried to chase Jorge Bonifacio back to second and the ball squirreled away again. Bonifacio headed for third and second baseman Breyvic Valera tried to throw him out there, but the ball bounced away for yet another error that allowed Bonifacio to score.
The Royals added a run in the fourth and three in the eighth as they wrapped up their second straight sweep. They've won three consecutive series and seven of their last eight games.
Royals vice president Mike Swanson threw out the ceremonial first pitch to honor his 40 years in baseball. Swanson's mother, Betty, spent nearly four decades working for the Royals and Chiefs, while her son has worked for the Rockies, Padres and Diamondbacks along with his time in Kansas City.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he will try several options in the closer role after Mychael Givens blew another save Saturday night. "You've got to get people out, and pitch when you're asked and take advantage of the opportunity," Showalter said, "including Mike and some other guys."
Orioles: RHP Pedro Araujo (right elbow strain) will not pitch again this season. He's been on the DL since June 11. "He's going to be fine, I think, for next year," Showalter said, "but I don't think he'll pitch in September. I don't see any of the feedback that fits that scenario."
Royals: OF Jorge Soler (fractured left toe) experienced a setback in his rehab and will likely shut down for the remainder of the season, manager Ned Yost said. Soler went on the DL on June 16, when he was hitting .265 with nine homers and 28 RBIs.
The Orioles head to Seattle for three games beginning Monday night, when LHP Josh Rogers (1-0, 5.40 ERA) is on the mound. The Royals begin a trip to Cleveland and Minnesota with RHP Jakob Junis (7-12, 4.53 ERA) taking the hill against the Indians on Monday night.