For the second straight night, the Oakland Athletics only scored in the third inning, but Wednesday’s 10-run outburst on was all the offense Oakland would need, as they romped to a 10-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles for their sixth straight win.
The first 11 batters all reached in the third and Matt Olson delivered the big blow with a three-run opposite-field homer as Orioles starter Andrew Cashner failed to record an out in the decisive frame.
Nick Martini and Jonathan Lucroy started the frame with singles and rookie Ramon Laureano walked to load the bases. Third baseman Matt Chapman — who came into the game as the major league leader in doubles (21) and extra-base hits (36) since the All-Star break — doubled home two runs to star the rally.
Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis each followed with RBI singles of their own. Olson belted his three-run homer to left to make it 7-0, and after a single by Stephen Piscotty, Cashner was replaced by Cody Carroll, who the Orioles acquired when they traded Zach Britton to the New York Yankees.
Carroll walked Marcus Semien, Martini singled again to load the bases and Lucroy lined another single to center, this one scoring a pair. Laureano then popped out, prompting sarcastic cheers from the sparse crowd, but Chapman singled home a 10th run.
After Liam Hendriks opened for Daniel Mengden with another smooth inning, allowing just a two-out single to Trey Mancini, Mengden took the reins and dominated over the following five innings. The only baserunners to reach against Mengden were Chris Davis, who was eliminated on a double play after getting to first base on an error, and Jace Peterson, who walked.
Mancini’s first-inning single would be the only hit of the night for Baltimore (41-104). The Orioles’ only other serious bid for one came from D.J. Stewart, but he was robbed of his first career hit by Olson in the bottom of the fifth.
Mengden only needed 56 pitches over five innings, but Oakland (89-57) chose to keep him fresh and gave the final three innings to Ryan Dull, J.B. Wendelken and Aaron Brooks. It was Brooks’ first appearance in an A’s uniform since 2015.
Sean Gilmartin, Ryan Meisinger and Paul Fry kept the A’s scoreless over the final six innings, with the only remaining intrigue coming in the ninth as backup catcher Beau Taylor got his first career at-bat after nearly eight full years in the minor leagues.
With the Twins beating the Yankees on Wednesday, Oakland is now one game back of the Wild Card lead. If they can pass New York in the final two weeks of the season, they would host the Wild Card game on Oct. 3.