O’s fall out of first-place tie with 5-2 loss at Oakland

It’s been a rough two nights for the Orioles in Oakland. A loss there Friday cost them a chance to move into sole possession of first place, while tonight’s loss dropped the Orioles out of a first-place tie in the AL East.

The Birds fell one game back of the Yankees, who won this afternoon, with a 5-2 loss at Oakland. The Orioles continue to hold the second wild card spot in the AL, leading the Angels by 2 1/2 games.

The Orioles fall to 81-64 and have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 16-17 - and that was 27 games ago. This is the first time the O’s have lost two straight against the same team since July 27-28, and that was also against Oakland.

The Orioles certainly struggle at Oakland, where they are 0-2 this year, went 1-5 last year, and are 2-16 since 2008 and 8-29 since 2003.

After the Orioles scored 60 runs over a nine-game stretch, they have now plated just 10 runs over the last four games.

Tonight, Zach Britton pitched well the first two innings, but then allowed five runs in the last of the third as the A’s rallied from a 2-0 deficit. Stephen Drew led off the frame with a homer, and a walk and hit batter followed. Oakland then added four more runs on a pair of RBI singles and Chris Carter’s two-run double.

Since going 4-0 with an ERA of 0.95 over a four-start stretch, Britton has allowed 10 earned runs and nine walks over 7 1/3 innings in his last two starts.

Steve Johnson did a nice job in relief, pitching three shutout innings to lower his ERA to 2.13 overall and 1.35 in seven relief outings.

The Orioles scored in the second on a Mark Reynolds RBI double and an inning later on a Nate McLouth solo homer. Down by three runs in the fourth, Adam Jones was thrown out at the plate on a Chris Davis double.

The Orioles fall to 12-18 this year against the AL West while Oakland improves to 27-15 versus the AL East.

In Sunday’s series finale at 4:05 p.m. Eastern time, Randy Wolf (2-0, 5.68 ERA) pitches for the Orioles against Oakland’s Dan Straily (2-0, 3.42 ERA).

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