Orioles double their pain again

The Orioles grounded into four double plays last night, a huge factor in their 3-2 loss to the Athletics and their inability to take over sole possession of first place in the American League East.

The double plays came in successive innings. Mark Reynolds ended the fourth, Robert Andino produced two outs in the fifth following Chris Davis’ home run and Manny Machado’s single, Lew Ford ended a two-on, one-out threat in the sixth and Andino ended a two-on, one-out rally in the seventh.

According to Elias, it was only the second time this season that a major league team grounded into a double play in four straight innings. The Orioles also did it in the 12th-15th innings May 6 in Boston, a game they won in the 17th with Davis being used as an emergency reliever.

The Orioles still aren’t listing their starters for Sunday in Oakland and Tuesday in Seattle. Zach Britton starts tonight, Chris Tillman on Monday and Joe Saunders on Wednesday.

Left-hander Randy Wolf is a prime candidate to take the ball Sunday. Steve Johnson is another option. Miguel Gonzalez could pitch Tuesday on an extra days rest.

The Mariners are starting Hector Noesi, Erasmo Ramirez and Felix Hernandez.

Jim Johnson hasn’t recorded a save since Sept. 8, but he’s still on pace for 47, two more than Randy Myers, who set the club record in 1997.

The Orioles have lost more than one game in a row 16 times this season, but only once in their last 38 games dating back to Aug. 4, and that was only a two-game streak Aug. 16-17. The Orioles are 26-12 in that span.

Former Oriole Jason Berken, making his first start with the Cubs today, allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings against the Pirates, but only two runs were earned. He walked one, struck out two and gave up a home run.

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