Orioles at Athletics
The Baltimore Orioles are right in the thick of the American League wild-card race and hope to make more progress when they visit the Oakland Athletics on Sunday for the finale of their four-game series. Baltimore rode a seven-run first inning to a 12-5 victory on Saturday, climbing within 1 1/2 games of the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild card.
Tim Beckham and Adam Jones combined to go 7-for-10 with six RBIs and four runs scored for the Orioles, who pounded out 20 hits - zero homers - to improve to 3-3 on their 10-game road trip. Baltimore (58-59) has four teams sitting between itself and the Angels as it aims to reach the .500 mark with a victory on Sunday. Oakland fell to 1-4 on its nine-game homestand despite home runs by Khris Davis and rookie Matt Olson. Davis' blast was his 32nd of the season, putting him 10 away from matching the career high he established last year. Olson has gone deep in each of his last two contests following a seven-game drought.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), NBCSN California (Oakland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Jeremy Hellickson (7-6, 4.45 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Kendall Graveman (2-3, 4.97)
Hellickson has split his two starts since being acquired from Philadelphia, allowing three runs and 11 hits over 13 innings while recording 12 strikeouts and only two walks. The 30-year-old native of Iowa has yet to serve up a home run while with Baltimore after surrendering six over his final four outings with the Phillies. Hellickson has made six career starts against Oakland, going 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA.
Graveman has had his problems since returning from a shoulder injury that shelved him for nearly 2 1/2 months, going 0-1 while yielding 11 runs and 15 hits over 7 1/3 innings in two starts. The 26-year-old from Alabama issued a total of only two walks in those outings but also recorded just a pair of strikeouts. Graveman owns a 1-2 record and 7.08 ERA in six career appearances (four starts) against Baltimore.
1. Athletics OF Boog Powell went 1-for-4 and scored a run in his debut with the team on Saturday.
2. Beckham has been tremendous at the plate since being acquired from Tampa Bay, as he carries a 12-game hitting streak that includes nine multi-hit performances into the series finale.
3. Baltimore 2B Jonathan Schoop, who ranks second in the AL with 84 RBIs, was one of only three members of the starting lineup that failed to drive in a run on Saturday.