OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: J.J. Hardy #2 of the Baltimore Orioles hits an RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at O.co Coliseum on September 16, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
The Orioles salvaged the series finale against the Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
The Baltimore Orioles beat the Oakland Athletics 9-5 on Sunday afternoon, salvaging a game in a terrific series between two clubs battling for American League playoff spots. With the victory, Baltimore kept pace and remained one game back of the New York Yankees in the American League East.
The Orioles trail the A's by two games for the top wild card spot, and hold a 2 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the second wild card spot. Oakland is now three games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West.
Neither of Sunday's starting pitchers threw the ball very well. Randy Wolf made it through just four innings on the mound, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out four. Dan Straily lasted 4 2/3 innings, surrendering four runs on five hits and five walks. He struck out just one batter and gave up two home runs.
Baltimore scored early and often, plating at least one run in the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth innings. Matt Wieters hit two home runs, while Endy Chavez went 4-for-4 with a walk. The A's took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run blast from Josh Reddick, but that was all the scoring the club would do until late.
Jim Johnson came on to record the final out in the ninth inning with two on and two out, claiming his 43rd save of the season.