Cole Irvin throws 7 innings of 4-hit ball and Orioles hit three homers to beat Athletics 7-0

BALTIMORE (AP) — Cole Irvin scattered four hits over seven innings, Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle homered on successive pitches and the Baltimore Orioles blanked the Oakland Athletics 7-0 on Saturday.

Gunnar Henderson also went deep for the AL East-leading Orioles, who emphatically bounced back from a 10-inning loss in the series opener Friday night.

“We did a lot of good things,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Mostly, we pitched really well. Good game for us.”

Baltimore has now gone 100 straight regular-season series of at least two games without being swept. That's the fourth-longest streak in major league history, and 24 short of matching the record held by the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals.

Irvin (2-1) retired the first nine batters he faced, did not allow a runner past first base and yielded only four singles — none in the same inning. The lefty struck out five and walked none in his longest outing since 2022, when he pitched for the A's.

Irvin gave up 11 runs in his first three starts, but over the past two outings he's pitched shutout ball over 13 2/3 innings. The difference?

“Pitching to both sides of the plate, a little bit better pitch mix, a little bit more unpredictable about what's coming,” Hyde said. “Looking ahead at hitters and attacking the strike zone.”

Mike Baumann worked the eighth and Dillon Tate got three outs to complete the five-hitter. It was Baltimore's second shutout of the season, the first coming in Irvin's previous start, in Kansas City on April 21.

Like the A's, Baltimore went down in order through the first three innings. But the Orioles had far more success the second time around against JP Sears (1-2).

Baltimore rattled off five hits in a three-run fourth, including an RBI double by Anthony Santander and run-scoring singles by Jordan Westburg and James McCann.

One inning later, Rutschman hit a solo shot and Mountcastle followed with a drive over the left-field wall for a 5-0 lead.

Henderson hit his ninth homer in the seventh with a runner on.

Oakland, on the other hand, was held without a home run for the first time in 12 games.

Sears gave up seven runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, his first loss since March 30. Baltimore's first five runs came with two outs, which overshadowed all the positives.

“He was in the zone, he was throwing strikes,” manager Mark Kotsay said. “He only had one walk to go along with eight strikeouts. The ability to end an inning kind of escaped him today.”

Sears completely agreed.

“I made a lot of good pitches. Obviously, just kind of struggled getting that third out in a couple innings,” the left-hander said. “There's no rhyme or reason to it.”

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: INF J.D. Davis (adductor strain) is moving closer to coming off the IL. Davis was slated to join Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday for on-field activities, and “there's a good chance he will DH” for the Aviators on Sunday, Kotsay said.

Orioles: RHP Kyle Bradish, who's been on the IL with an elbow strain since opening day, is poised to return. Bradish allowed one run in five innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Friday and felt "great” on Saturday, according to Hyde. “We're just looking right now where to slot him in, but he's going to be with us soon,” Hyde said. Bradish was 12-7 with a 2.83 ERA last year.

UP NEXT

Paul Blackburn (2-1, 2.03 ERA) starts for Oakland in the series finale Sunday against Albert Suárez (1-0, 0.00), who beat the Angels on Monday for his first MLB win since June 2016.

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