A’s aim to build on comeback victory, take series vs. Orioles

Apr 27, 2024, 4:41 AM | Updated: 9:33 am

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 26: Brent Rooker #25 of the Oakland Athletics drives in the game winnin...

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Brent Rooker experienced the darkness of the Oakland Athletics’ 112-loss season in 2023.

But thanks to his heroics in the Athletics’ most recent game, this campaign has continued to look brighter for Rooker and his teammates.

Rooker delivered two crucial doubles to help Oakland rally for a 3-2 win in 10 innings over the host Baltimore Orioles on Friday.

The Athletics will look to build on that comeback victory on Saturday afternoon when they face the Orioles in the second contest of a three-game series.

Oakland trailed 2-1 entering the ninth inning on Friday when Rooker drilled a leadoff double against Orioles closer Craig Kimbrel. Abraham Toro’s double two batters later scored Rooker to tie the game.

In the 10th inning, Rooker hit a go-ahead, two-out RBI double as the Athletics secured their fifth comeback win this season.

Oakland’s 11-16 record this year may not be inspiring at the surface, but it’s a six-win improvement compared to the team’s record through 27 games a season ago.

Rooker credits the Athletics’ grittiness to the team’s better start in 2024.

“Last year … we’d be in tight games like this and we just kind of find ways to lose, or bounces wouldn’t go our way,” Rooker said. “I think this year it’s been the exact opposite. … (We’ve) battled in tight games like this. We’ve done a really good job just kind of finding ways to win.”

Friday’s result further soured an already disappointing day for the Orioles, who optioned struggling infielder Jackson Holliday to Triple-A Norfolk. The prized 20-year-old hit 2-for-34 (.059) and struck out 18 times over his first 10 games for Baltimore since being called up on April 10.

“He needs repetitions,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias told reporters on Friday. “I think the bright side of this is he got very intense, very specific feedback from major league pitching.

“He’s a brilliant talent … I expect he’s going to go implement those adjustments really quickly, but we felt that … steady playing time in Triple-A was the place for that.”

Baltimore also called up outfielder Ryan McKenna on Friday and designated catcher David Banuelos for assignment.

McKenna entered Friday’s game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning but couldn’t secure Toro’s line drive on a leaping overhead attempt near the warning track in right-center field.

Toro was the third of five consecutive batters who reached to lead off the ninth against Kimbrel, who blew his second save in nine tries this season.

The Orioles’ right-hander allowed his first earned run since April 1 and walked three batters on Friday after entering the day having issued two free passes throughout his first 11 innings this season.

“This game is really on me,” Kimbrel said. “Everybody did everything they needed to for us to get a win except for me locking it down. We’re just going to have to put this one behind us and come back tomorrow and try to get another W.”

Baltimore starting pitcher Cole Irvin (1-1, 4.64 ERA) will face fellow left-hander JP Sears (1-1, 3.38) on Saturday.

Irvin tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the Orioles’ 5-0 win over the Royals last Sunday in Kansas City. He earned a no-decision in both of his starts last season against Oakland, who traded him to Baltimore in January 2023.

Meanwhile, Sears blanked the Yankees over six frames in the Athletics’ 2-0 victory Monday in New York.

Sears is 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) against the Orioles. He went 0-2 against Baltimore last season, surrendering four homers and 10 runs across nine innings.

–Field Level Media

Upcoming schedule for the Oakland Athletics

  • Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28th – @ Baltimore Orioles
  • Monday, April 29-Wednesday, May 1st – vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Friday, May 3rd-Sunday, May 5th – vs. Miami Marlins
  • Monday, May 6th-Wednesday, May 8th – vs. Texas Rangers
  • Friday, May 10th-Sunday, May 12th – @ Seattle Mariners

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