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Beckham helps Orioles blast Athletics

Sports Xchange - Sunday 13th August, 2017

OAKLAND, Calif. -- It is safe to say that playing for the Baltimore Orioles agrees with shortstop Tim Beckham.

Beckham went 4-for-5 with a career-high three doubles and three RBIs in a 12-5 rout of the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night at Oakland Coliseum.

Beckham matched a career high with a 12-game hitting streak to begin his Orioles career. He is batting .531 since being traded to Baltimore from Tampa Bay on July 31. Beckham has seven doubles, two triples, three homers and nine RBIs for the Orioles.

"It's fun," said Beckham, who also scored three runs. "You're playing good and your team's playing winning baseball. It's always fun. That's the end goal. The end goal is to win ballgames and be in the playoffs. That's what we're shooting for."

Baltimore trails the Los Angeles Angels by 1 1/2 games for the second wild-card spot in the American League.

Beckham wasn't the Orioles' only hitting star Saturday. They pounded out a season-high-tying 20 hits, matching their total of a 13-inning game on May 16 at Detroit. Adam Jones went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, and Joey Rickard went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs. He was also hit by a pitch.

Every starter except catcher Welington Castillo had at least one hit for the Orioles (58-59).

Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy (12-8) won his fourth straight game, matching his career high set earlier this season. He allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings with three walks. He struck out 10 for the second straight start, matching his career high, and made good use again of a sharp slider.

By the time he took the mound, Baltimore owned a 7-0 lead.

"It's great," Bundy said. "You can really just go after hitters and try to pound the strike zone."

A's left-hander Sean Manaea (8-7) had the shortest start of his career, allowing six runs and six hits in one-third of an inning. The only out came on a relay to home plate.

Manaea walked one and didn't strike out a batter. He had his third straight rough start, and the velocity on his fastball was down to 90-91 mph again instead of his typical 93.

"It's been down for a while here," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Manaea's velocity. "I think maybe it's a dead-arm stage. I don't know if it's dead arm. It's August. He's got a hundred-plus innings. He got an extra day (of rest) this time, but he's going to have to figure it out in his bullpens."

Manaea made no excuses for his recent struggles.

"I've been pitching really bad. That's all I can really say about this," Manaea said. "Physically I feel great. No problems at all."

Khris Davis hit his 32nd home run of the season, a two-run shot, and rookie Matt Olson hit his sixth blast, a solo home run, for Oakland.

Center fielder Boog Powell made his A's debut and went 1-for-4 with a walk, three strikeouts, a run and an outfield assist. Powell had been slated to play Friday, but he was a late scratch because of an upper respiratory infection and an asthma attack that sent him to the emergency room at a local hospital.

The Orioles struck quickly, building a commanding lead in the first inning.

Baltimore had eight hits in the inning, including doubles by Manny Machado, Jones, Mark Trumbo and Beckham. The Orioles sent 11 batters to the plate.

Beckham led off with a walk and scored on Machado's double off the left-center field wall. Jonathan Schoop lined a single to right, moving Machado to third. Jones drove in Machado with a double to left, but Schoop was thrown out at the plate on a relay from Davis in left to shortstop Marcus Semien to catcher Bruce Maxwell.

Trey Mancini made it 3-0 with an RBI single, driving in Jones, and moved to third on Trumbo's double. Chris Davis grounded an RBI single to right, making it 4-0 and ending Manaea's night as Michael Brady took over.

Castillo brought Trumbo home when he grounded into a fielder's choice. Rickard singled, and Beckham increased Baltimore's lead to 7-0 with a double to left.

The Orioles were coming off a tough 5-4 loss Friday night to the A's, which made getting off to a fast start "very important," Beckham said.

"I commend our team for putting together quality at-bats and putting up a seven-spot in the first inning," Beckham said. "That was huge. It takes the breath out of the other team."

Oakland cut the deficit to 7-2 in the bottom of the first inning when Powell led off with a walk and Khris Davis launched a two-run homer with two outs. Olson led off the second with a solo home run into the right field seats.

Baltimore answered with two runs in the fourth. After Rickard was hit by a pitch and moved to third on Beckham's double, Jones lined a two-run single to center.

NOTES: Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (sore right calf) came out of his start against Oakland on Friday night with one out after getting hit by a comebacker on his right calf, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he expects him to make his next start. "He'll be fine," Showalter said. "The biggest problem he had, that's the same place he got hit in Minnesota (on July 9)." ... A's OF Jake Smolinski (right shoulder surgery) began a rehab assignment with Class A Stockton and served as the designated hitter. Smolinski's throwing shoulder is still not healthy enough for game action. He has been on the disabled list since March 30. ... A's RHP Liam Hendriks made his team-high 52nd relief appearance and pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

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