OAKLAND – Jorge Mateo paused before sprinting out of the batter’s box, knowing he hit JP Sears’ changeup a long way, thinking maybe it would clear the fence in left-center field. He slowed as he got halfway to second base, realized that Lawrence Butler wouldn’t make the catch or contain the ball, and slipped into another gear.
The Jorge Mateo gear that few players can find.
Mateo dived across home plate, with the Athletics botching the relay and unable to challenge him. His first home run since April 30, in a month where he hit six of them.
Austin Hays drove in two runs on a ball that deflected off Sears and bounced into shallow left field to pad the lead.
The Orioles wouldn’t just sweep the Athletics. They decided to get creative with it.