Purpose pitch

Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro drilled Julio Lugo in the back with his third pitch of the fifth inning, obvious retaliation for Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz hitting Daric Barton. It’s not like Mazzaro tried to hide it.

Lugo took a few steps toward the mound before his path was blocked. I thought we might have a brawl.

It didn’t go unnoticed that interim manager Juan Samuel was the first person out of the Orioles dugout. Luke Scott stood beside him, hands on hips.

Ty Wigginton and bench coach Jeff Datz also stepped onto the field.

That’s a pretty tough foursome. I’d put my money on them.

Mazzaro’s plan backfired. He threw a wild pitch and gave up a run-scoring single to Cesar Izturis.

The Orioles were down, 2-0, but they’re rallying in the fifth inning.

Sound familiar?

Down on the farm:Triple-A Norfolk’s Chris Tillman took a shutout into the fifth inning against Charlotte before surrendering a solo home run. He’s allowed four hits, walked two and struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings.

Josh Bell hit his ninth home run.

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