BALTIMORE – Chris Davis is showing the A’s just why he’s one of the game’s most dangerous power hitters.
The Orioles’ left-handed slugger hit two homers, including a walk-off shot off switch pitcher Pat Venditte in the bottom of the ninth Saturday to beat the A’s 4-3. It was the second game in a row Oakland got beat on a walk-off, after Manny Machado ended a marathon game in the 13th on Friday.
Davis has three homers in 10 at-bats in this series, a threat to go deep any time a pitch is within the vicinity of the strike zone. He hit a two-run shot off Chris Bassitt in the fourth to pull the Orioles to within a run at 3-2. Davis now has 15 homers in 27 games since the All-Star break, and nine homers in August. He’s got 34 on the season.
His ninth-inning blast spoiled Venditte’s major league return, after he was called up earlier in the day along with fellow reliever Dan Otero. Venditte retired the first two hitters of the ninth before Davis, the cleanup man, ended it.
Like the night before, the A’s grabbed an early lead, going up 3-0 by the third. Still, they lost their fifth straight game and are 0-5 on this two-city seven-game road trip.
Starting pitching report
Chris Bassitt went a career-high eight innings and gave up just five hits. But two of them were costly ones. He gave up Davis’ two-run blast and a solo shot to Gerardo Parra that tied it 3-3 in the sixth. But overall, it was another encouraging outing from Bassitt, who struck out six and walked one.
What a day it was for Venditte. He and Otero were delayed for hours in Detroit coming from Iowa, where the A’s Triple-A squad was playing. Power outages at the Baltimeore airport delayed their arrival.
At the plate
Billy Burns got the A’s off to a fast start, leading off the game with a triple to dead center and scoring on Mark Canha’s groundout. Then Sam Fuld provided an unlikely offensive spark, ending an 0-for-18 stretch by turning on a 2-2 pitch from Miguel Gonzalez and homering just inside the right-field foul pole in the third. Three batters later, Josh Reddick drove another homer to left-center for a 3-0 A’s lead.
After the Orioles closed to within 3-2, the A’s let a golden opportunity to extend their lead slip by. Gonzalez walked three batters in a row to load the bases with one out, but Billy Butler grounded into an around-the-horn double play to end the threat. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop double-clutched on his throw to first and still got Butler. He also was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, a night after being thrown out at home trying to score from second on a single.
In the field
Fuld made an outstanding play in left, making a running catch to rob Steve Clevenger in the seventh and double a runner off first.
A sellout crowd of 44,028 was on hand.
Kendall Graveman (6-8, 3.89) will take the mound Sunday looking to snap a six-start winless streak. He’ll oppose left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (6-6, 3.21) in the 10:35 a.m. game.