O’s miss chance to gain sole possession of first with loss at Oakland

Well, that was a rarity. An Orioles one-run loss. With it goes a chance for the Birds to move into sole possession of first place in the AL East after the Yankees loss earlier Friday night proceeded the O’s 3-2 loss at Oakland.

That was just the Orioles second one-run loss in their last 18 one-run games and they fall to 27-8 on the season in the one-run contests.

It was a frustrating night for an O’s offense that had scored 66 runs in the previous 11 games. In six of nine innings they got their leadoff man on, but they hit into four double plays and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position after batting .333 with RISP the last nine games.

The game ended with pinch runner Xavier Avery thrown out trying to steal second base.

The O’s scored one run in the third on an error and tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth on a Chris Davis solo homer. It was his third homer in the last seven games and his eighth in his past 19.

Joe Saunders got a quality start, but took the loss, allowing three runs and seven hits over six innings. He threw 101 pitches.

Oakland won for the seventh time in eight games and is 16-4 over its last 20 games. The A’s are 15-2 at home against the Orioles since the start of the 2008 season.

It was a missed chance for the Birds. A missed chance to not only gain sole possession of first place but also to tie Oakland for the AL’s top wild card spot.

Game 2 of the series is Saturday night at 9:05 p.m. Eastern time when Zach Britton (3-2, 4.72 ERA) faces Oakland right-hander Jarrod Parker (10-8, 3.56 ERA).

A few post-game notes:

* After going six games without a quality start the Orioles have now gotten three in a row and their starters have an ERA of 3.26 in those games.

* Jake Arrieta had a strong relief outing pitching two scoreless innings on just 28 pitches with no walks and five strikeouts.

* Over the last two games, O’s pitchers have walked just four and fanned 27 over 22 innings.

* The Orioles have played three straight 3-2 games, winning two and losing one.

* The O’s bullpen has allowed just one earned run in 17 innings over the last four games for an ERA of 0.53.

* The Orioles have hit just one homer over the last three games after homering 17 times in the previous six games.

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