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Question of the Day
BALTIMORE (AP) - Wilson Betemit hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning after Matt Wieters doubled in two runs, giving the Baltimore Orioles an unlikely 5-2 comeback victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
Oakland starter Bartolo Colon took a four-hit shutout into the ninth without allowing a runner past second base.
After J.J. Hardy led off with an infield hit and Nick Markakis struck out, Adam Jones hit a chopper down the third-base line that Colon collected before throwing wildly to first. The single and error put runners at second and third and ended Colon’s afternoon.
Grant Balfour (0-1) entered and promptly gave up a double to left by Wieters that tied it. After Chris Davis received an intentional walk, Betemit hit a liner to right-center that bounced off the top of the wall _ a home run, according to the ground rules at Camden Yards.
Colon had not given up a run on the road through three starts and 23 innings before the ninth.
Pedro Strop (3-1) got three outs for the Orioles, who moved six games over .500 (14-8) for the first time since July 20, 2005.
Oakland was 10-0 when leading after eight innings. It was the Orioles‘ second win this season when trailing after eight innings, matching their total all of last season.
Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter matched Colon for five innings, allowing only one runner to pass first base, before faltering in the sixth. The right-hander gave up two runs and seven hits over seven innings.
In the sixth, after Hunter retired the first two batters, left-handed hitter Josh Reddick slapped a high fastball to left for a single and Yoenis Cespedes followed with an RBI double. That put the A’s in position to go 9-0 this season when scoring first.
It didn’t happen.
Seth Smith led off the seventh with his second home run, a shot to center on a 1-0 pitch. It was the eighth homer yielded by Hunter in five starts. Markakis opened the bottom half with a double but did not advance.
Starting at first base for the first time this season, Baltimore’s Mark Reynolds made several fine plays in the field, including a diving stop on a grounder by Kila Ka’aihue that started a 3-6-3 double play in the fourth inning. Reynolds has three errors in 10 games at third base and had 26 errors there in 2011.
The Orioles got a hit in each of the first three innings, but got only one runner to second base. Oakland had two on with two outs in the third before Reddick grounded out.
Kurt Suzuki began the A’s fifth inning with a drive to deep left field. Nolan Reimold extended his glove over the 7-foot wall and latched onto the ball to rob the catcher of a home run.
NOTES: Reimold doubled in the first inning to extend his career-high hitting streak to 14 games. … Oakland SS Cliff Pennington snapped a 0-for-16 skid with a third-inning single. … RHP Jason Hammel (3-0, 1.73) starts for Baltimore on Monday night against the Yankees, who swept the Orioles in a three-game series at Camden Yards on April 9-11. Hammel did not pitch in that series. “The last time I faced them was in spring training and it wasn’t quite their A lineup,” he said Sunday. “I’m quite excited to get out there.” … The A’s continue their road trip in Boston on Monday.
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