OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — The Baltimore Orioles made a wise decision when they avoided arbitration and signed Mark Trumbo to a $9.15 million, one-year contract in the offseason.
It’s shaping up to be a huge bargain.
Trumbo hit a grand slam for his major league-leading 32nd homer and drove in five runs as Baltimore beat the Oakland Athletics 9-6 on Thursday to avoid a four-game sweep.
“He’s had a good season,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Just because he hasn’t been perfect the last week or so … there’s a lot of people that would trade places with him right now statistically. We’re lucky to have him or we wouldn’t be where we are.”
The Orioles had been shut out for 17 straight innings and lost their lead in the AL East following three consecutive one-run losses before Trumbo sparked them.
The All-Star slugger went into the day mired in an 0-for-13 funk but hit an RBI single in a three-run fourth, then connected the next inning for his third career grand slam.
“There’s been a sprinkling of hard contact but overall the at-bats haven’t been that great,” Trumbo said. “That’s something I try not to look too far into. Made a little bit of an adjustment today and it worked out all right.”
Chris Tillman (15-4) allowed two runs over seven innings for his first victory since July 21. He is Baltimore’s first 15-game winner since Bud Norris and Wei-Yin Chen in 2014.
Zach Britton retired three batters for his AL-leading 35th save this season and his 37th straight dating to last season. The A’s loaded the bases in the ninth after a replay overturn before Britton got Danny Valencia to ground out to end it.
“Chris gave us seven solid innings,” Showalter said. “I thought it would be a good day for us to be able to kind of back off some guys but Oakland didn’t cooperate.”
Andrew Triggs (0-1) was the eighth starting pitcher in as many games for the A’s.
Triggs was pressed into duty because of Oakland’s injury-riddled rotation. He gave up three runs in four innings.
Adam Jones homered for the Orioles and Pedro Alvarez drove in three runs.
Ryon Healy and Max Muncy homered for the A’s and Yonder Alonso doubled in two runs.
“It’s easy to let down when you’re down by seven runs at one point but that wasn’t the case,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “We continued to fight.”
STOP, DROP AND ROLL
In addition to his home run, Healy also made a stellar defensive play. The rookie third baseman made a diving stop of Manny Machado’s hard-hit grounder in the first, then tumbled and rolled as he hit the infield dirt. Healy did a second 360-turn as he stood up and threw to first for the out. “I think that play ended up looking more spectacular than it needed to be,” Healy said. “The second spin, I wouldn’t say it was unnecessary but … I didn’t really know where I was. The second spin kind of just happened.”
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy was given the day off, his first since July 24th. … Showalter said a decision will be made soon whether to put OF Steve Pearce on the DL. Pearce received a cortisone injection in his right forearm earlier in the week but continues to be bothered by a flexor mass strain.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn (strained right shoulder) will throw in the next few days and is likely to make one rehab start while on the DL before returning to the big league club.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (5-3) pitches against the Giants in San Francisco on Friday. It will be his second career start in an interleague game.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (3-7) faces Seattle in the opener of a three-game series in Oakland on Friday. He is winless over his previous six outings despite a 2.58 ERA during that span.
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