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Hammel loses second straight as O’s beat A’s, 8-4

July 20, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jason Hammel planned to go home, get a good night’s rest and return to the ballpark ready to get back at it. He wants to put his latest outing behind him as soon as possible.

Hammel lasted a season-low two innings and matched his season high in runs allowed, and the Baltimore Orioles took advantage to beat the Oakland Athletics 8-4 on Saturday night.

“I’m just not pitching like myself right now, which is fastball command,” Hammel said. “This is one I have to go home and forget. I’ll come back tomorrow and go back to work.”

Hammel (0-2), obtained in a trade with the Chicago Cubs two weeks ago, lost his second straight start with the A’s and dropped to 0-5 against the Orioles, whom he was facing for the first time in six years. He gave up five runs on six hits, walking two and striking out two.

“His command of the heater wasn’t very good and he got into some bad counts and they made him pay,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “They really have a lineup who can hit a lot of home runs and score a lot of runs. We had a lot of trouble with the top of their lineup.”

Hammel allowed a pair of first-inning homers, to Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy, for the first time since his Aug. 28, 2008, outing against the Orioles.

“Physically I felt good. It was just bad execution,” he said. “They got the better of me this time.”

Jones matched his career high of five RBIs to back the pitching of Wei-Yin Chen (10-3), who allowed three runs over five innings with four strikeouts in an uneven outing while winning his third consecutive start. The left-hander improved to 4-0 in five career starts against the A’s.

“We’ve faced him before. When he makes his pitches and can elevate the fastball to get ahead in the count, he’s tough,” A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie said. “He made some really good pitches the first time through the order.”

Brandon Moss hit his team-leading 22nd home run for Oakland.

One day after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth on Josh Donaldson’s game-ending home run, the Orioles took a 7-1 lead, then held off another rally by the A’s to move 10 games over .500.

The Orioles needed it on a night when Chen was inconsistent. He retired the first six hitters before giving up Moss’ home run leading off the third. Chen also gave up a two-run double to Lowrie in the fourth. Lowrie added an RBI single in the sixth off reliever Brad Brach.

The A’s had won seven straight at home before losing in front of a sellout crowd on hand to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise’s 1989 World Series championship.

NOTES: Former A’s pitcher Dave Stewart threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of the 25th anniversary celebration. Members of that team, including Jose Canseco and Rickey Henderson, laid flowers at the base of the pitching mound where Bob Welch’s No. 35 was inscribed during a pre-game ceremony. Welch, who played on the ’89 team, died of a heart attack in June. ... Sonny Gray (10-3) pitches the series finale for Oakland and is unbeaten in his three July starts this season. RHP Kevin Gausman (4-2) pitches for Baltimore. . Lowrie is 17 for 42 (.405) over his last 11 games.

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