Socolovich optioned to make room for Ford (plus postgame quotes)

The Orioles announced after tonight's 6-1 loss to the Athletics that reliever Miguel Socolovich has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

No corresponding move was included in the press release, but the Orioles are purchasing outfielder Lew Ford's contract from the Tides.

Socolovich allowed one run and two hits in a career-high 2 2/3 innings tonight, with no walks and three strikeouts. In two stints with the Orioles, he's permitted seven earned runs and seven hits in four games.

Socolovich relieved starter Tommy Hunter, who gave up two more home runs to raise his total to 24 this season.

Yoenis Cespedes' two-run shot, on a slider, gave Oakland a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Chris Carter's two-run shot, on a two-seamer, increased the lead to 5-0 in the sixth and ended Hunter's night.

"They hit two pretty darn good pitches. Outside of that, it is what it is," Hunter said.

"It sucks to say go back and look at the film because that will piss you off even more, but it was two pretty good pitches. Maybe the wrong pitch selection and there you go. The balls went.

"I didn't make many mistakes at all, actually. It sucks to say you felt good out there and turn around and you see five runs on the board and once again you've got a loss next to your name, but that's baseball.

"Trust me, I'm not changing anything about what I did tonight. I really wouldn't. They got me and they got me on two pretty good pitches. I'd probably throw them again. But now knowing their approaches, that's probably the only thing I'd change about it."

Hunter and Carter have played against each other for years. Carter didn't let their friendship get in the way tonight.

"Two-seamer down and in," Hunter said. "It was knees and it was black. Actually, I just sent him a text message. I just said, 'Really?' But it is what it is. It sucks. We played against each other since we were 12, it seems like. He's a good guy. Quiet. Nice guy. Sucks. Hate him. No, I really don't."

Manager Buck Showalter said Hunter made "a lot of good pitches."

"Not so much pitch selection, but he got the ball in some places you don't want to go with certain guys and we paid the price," Showalter said.

"It's hard to go out there and be perfect. Tommy's pitched real well his last couple outings and he looked like he was going to do it again tonight, but it got away from him a little bit. At 5-0 we were hoping to make a run there, but we really scattered our hits out."

The Orioles went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners.

"They're trying," Showalter said. "It's just not happening. I see them trying first-hand. It's not for lack of effort or lack of attention to what's causing it. It's just been tough for us to carry it over into the game. When they do hit the ball on the button and it's right at somebody, it's frustrating, but if they keep going it will happen. It's not like it hasn't happened all year.

"I'm just hoping in the next few days we get some people back. Hopefully, Jimmy (Thome) and Matty (Wieters) will be healthy at some point soon and Robert (Andino) and Brian (Roberts) will join us. We'll get some good news around the corner."

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