OAKLAND, Calif.(AP) The
have gotten solid pitching the past two weeks. Their offense is finally starting to catch up.
and Matt Holiday hit three-run homers,
matched his career high with seven strikeouts and the A's beat the
9-1 on Friday night.
''Any time a pitcher gets one run of support early he would like to think that that should be enough for the night,'' Braden
said. ''That's not always the case, but six runs puts you in a good spot, lets you attack your game plan at will.''
Every Oakland starter except
had at least one hit and all but two scored.
drove in two runs, and
had a pair of hits and scored twice to help the A's extend their winning streak to a season-high four games.
Braden (5-5) scattered five hits and allowed one run over five innings while improving to 4-1 against Baltimore. He had seven
strikeouts for the fifth time in his career and didn't walk anyone for the second time this season.
''It's nice to see the offense take off, especially early,'' Oakland manager
said. ''It really let (Braden) settle in and pound the strike zone, which he did. I like everything he did tonight.''
The four-game streak is Oakland's longest since winning four straight from Sept. 19-22, 2008. The A's, who went into the game
with the lowest team batting average in the American League, have outscored their opponents 26-4 during that stretch.
However, it's been Oakland's pitching that has been the primary key.
The A's staff combined for a pair of shutouts in the weekend series with the
, then got another solid outing from Braden. The lefty baffled the Orioles most of the evening and allowed only one runner
to reach second base through the first six innings. He also started a 1-6-3 double play in the fifth to shut down a potential
Braden's lone mistake came with two outs in the seventh when he gave up a home run to
, ending a 20-inning scoreless streak by A's pitchers.
completed the five-hitter.
''These guys are absolutely throwing the snot out of the ball and you just want to go out there and do your job,'' Braden
said about Oakland's young pitching staff. ''As a whole we want to put together a nice body of work and I think we're kind
of on the right track to doing so.''
Baltimore has dropped five of its last six and is 5-19 in its last 24 road games.
The Orioles also learned before the game that they would be without starting shortstop
indefinitely after the 29-year-old underwent an emergency appendectomy Friday night. Izturis played in Thursday's 3-2 loss
to Seattle and accompanied his teammates to Oakland but awoke with severe stomach pains and was taken to a hospital, where
the diagnosis was made.
The news didn't get any better for Baltimore once the game started.
Guthrie (4-5) got only two outs, his shortest stint as a starter. The right-hander gave up back-to-back singles before Cust
hit Guthrie's 10th pitch of the game over the wall in right-center for a 3-0 lead.
''I came in with a lot of momentum over the past few innings but I never got into a rhythm of throwing the ball consistently
where I wanted,'' Guthrie said. ''Effectiveness was an issue. It was a disappointing start with terrible results. I hope I
can come back and pitch better.''
Cunningham added a two-run single later in the inning and
had a RBI single to chase Guthrie, who left four batters after getting hit on the right forearm near his wrist by a Giambi
replaced Guthrie and pitched three scoreless innings before stumbling in the fifth, allowing consecutive hits to Kennedy and
Cust. Holiday followed with a three-run homer to center to make it 9-0.
Notes: The Orioles released veteran LHP
prior to the game. The 37-year-old Walker had a 5.11 earned run average in 12 1-3 innings and was coming off a horrible appearance
in Seattle on Tuesday. LHP Alberton Castillo was called up from Triple-A Norfolk to take Walker's spot. ... A's OF
had an MRI on his left knee Friday. He hasn't played since crashing into the outfield wall in Chicago on Tuesday.