The longball cometh

When Garrett Atkins came to the plate in the third inning last night, he had just one hit in his last 18 at bats and just one RBI over his previous 24 games.

Now he has one home run.

He drove a 1-2 pitch from Trevor Cahill 374 feet to left center field to end a 145 at bat drought without a longball.

"Obviously, its frustrating, you don't want to have a zero in any column, really. That's a big one, so, you know, was just able to put a good swing on it tonight. I wasn't trying to do too much with two strikes and was able to hit it enough for it to go out."

He hopes somehow that blast can jump start his bat and perhaps end his year-long struggle at the plate.

"I'd like to think so. I'm not as hot as Luke Scott is, I don't think you can expect that, but hopefully it's a sign of finding a swing. In the past when I've been able to find a swing, it's sustained itself for a while. Hopefully I can continue having quality at bats and hit balls hard like tonight. If I can do that two or three times a game, things can turn around real quickly.

"It's been tough, you want to be out there playing and proving you deserve to play. When you get chances and don't perform, it's frustrating. But the manager has a job to field the best team and when you are not helping the team, maybe the best thing is to sit on the bench. Maybe get in the cage a bit, look at video and work on things."

Last night he took advantage of a chance to get in the lineup and wound up putting the swing on the ball that produced the only Orioles run.

"I wasn't supposed to play, but Luke got hurt. When you get oppurtunites like that you have to take advantage of it. With the ways thing are going here maybe they'll find a place to put you."

He missed tying his career long homerless drought by one at bat, which was from July 1-August 13, 2005. His last homer had been on September 10th last year for the Rockies vs. the Reds.

Some other notes from the A's 6-1 win:

*Oakland improves to 6-14 on the road and the A's have now won 14 of their last 17 vs. the Orioles. Oakland is 17-4 in its last 21 games at Camden Yards.

*Adam Jones single in the seventh extended his career-best hitting streak and the longest by an Oriole this year to 12 games. He is batting .311 (14 for 45) during that streak with two doubles, a triple, two homers and 7 RBI.

*The O's were held to just three hits, matching a season-low first recorded April 29 vs. the Yankees. Two of the three hits were infield hits. O's hitters are just 10 for 57 (.175) with six runs scored in this series. Oakland pitching has given up just seven runs over the last five games.

*Matt Wieters has just six hits his last 37 at bats and his average is at a season-low, .253. He has just two RBI his last 17 games and only one extra-base hit, a double, over his past 15 games.

*Nick Markakis went 0 for 4 to snap an eight-game hitting streak, during which he was 12 for 30. Ty Wigginton is 0 for 11 and also is 8 for 47 over his past 11 games.

*The Oriole bullpen has not allowed a run over seven innings in this series and has an ERA of 1.38 over the last four games.

*The O's picked up their ninth outfield assist of the year in the sixth when Adam Jones threw Ryan Sweeney out at the plate. Of the nine assists, eight have come at home plate. Jones now leads the club with three outfield assists.

*Oakland ended a seven-game homerless drought when Adam Rosales connected for a three-run shot in the opening inning. It was the A's longest run without a homer since a nine-game stretch in September of 1983.

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