Machado bails out Britton as O’s jolt A’s in extras
BALTIMORE -- Zach Britton walked slowly toward the Baltimore Orioles’ dugout with his teeth clenched after being lifted by manager Buck Showalter.
It was unfamiliar territory for the left-handed closer that luckily had a happy ending for the Orioles.
Britton’s American League record streak of consecutive saves ended at 60. However, the Orioles still managed to emerge with an 8-7 victory over the Oakland Athletics on a game-winning homer by Manny Machado in the 12th inning on Wednesday.
“It’s a reminder how hard it is to do,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about Britton. “I just called him in my office and congratulated him. You won’t see it again. And he does hold the record in my mind, OK? It’s historical. That’s as good as you’ll ever see in any of our lifetimes. It’s special and it’s been an honor to watch him do it.”
Baltimore won for just the third time in eight games, which has caused it to slip down the wild-card standings.
Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien was back in the starting lineup after getting the previous night off because of right wrist discomfort. He went 3-for-5 with an RBI double in the sixth and a run-scoring single in the ninth that cut Baltimore’s lead to 7-6 off Britton. One batter later, Matt Joyce tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
Britton was lifted after walking Khris Davis and left to a standing ovation. He had not blown a save since Sept. 20, 2015.
“I knew that I didn’t have good command and I wasn’t making quality pitches, so it was going to be a battle,” Britton said. “That’s a team that they’re young and they got some veteran guys too, but it seems like they put together good at-bats all the way through a game. Some credit to them too, but I didn’t make quality pitches today and that’s the gist of it really.”
Machado provided the victory when he led off the 12th with a shot that barely cleared the center field wall off Simon Castro (1-2). Baltimore’s Miguel Castro (3-1) picked up the win by throwing 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
“It’s good to get that win,” Machado said. “They gave us a heck of a game. Every time we come back like that and win a ballgame, it’s going to help us coming into the next series.”
Welington Castillo, Trey Mancini, and Chris Davis also homered for the Orioles.
Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy, who started on 10 days’ rest, was charged with three runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts and no walks over six-plus innings. He is pitching his second full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2013, and the Orioles are trying to limit him to about 180 innings.
Tim Beckham went 3-for-6 for the Orioles and is batting .421 since being acquired from Tampa Bay at the non-waiver trade deadline.
Castillo had a two-run shot in the sixth off reliever Daniel Coulombe that gave the Orioles a commanding 6-1 lead. An RBI single by Matt Olson pulled the A’s to within 6-2 in the seventh that ended Bundy’s day.
Oakland managed another run that inning on an RBI single by Bruce Maxwell off Mychal Givens. The Athletics chipped away and a two-run homer by Joyce in the eighth cut the margin to 6-5.
The Orioles’ Davis provided a cushion with his 20th home, but this time, it was not enough for Britton.
“It was obviously a hard-fought game,” A’s third baseman Matt Chapman, who went 2-for-5, said. “We’ve been kind of battling a lot in our games lately. We fell a little bit short today. It’s nice to know we can come back off a guy like that who is a really good closer. It’s just a tough one to swallow”
The A’s recalled Daniel Gossett from Triple-A Nashville to replace scheduled starter Sean Manaea, who is getting extra rest. Gossett, who was making his first appearance for the A’s since Aug. 2, allowed five runs and eight hits with six strikeouts over five-plus innings.
“There are games that you lose and there are games where you fight as hard as you can possibly fight,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “To score off Britton like that, our guys showed a lot of heart today. Unfortunately, we ended up on the losing end. These guys battled as hard as we’ve seen them all year.”
NOTES: Athletics OF Rajai Davis was traded to Boston for minor league OF Rafael Rincones. Davis batted .233 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in 100 games ... Orioles RHP Miguel Castro was reinstated from the bereavement list Wednesday. To make room, the Orioles optioned RHP Alec Asher to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday. ... Oakland RHP Paul Blackburn could make his next start after taking a line drive off the side of his right hand Tuesday, manager Bob Melvin said.