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Machado homers again, but A's hold off O's

August 8, 2016

OAKLAND -- Kendall Graveman threw seven strong innings, Stephen Vogt snapped out of a slump with two RBIs, and the A's held on to beat the Orioles, 3-2, on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak at the Coliseum.The loss dropped Baltimore (63-48) into a tie for first place

OAKLAND -- Kendall Graveman threw seven strong innings, Stephen Vogt snapped out of a slump with two RBIs, and the A's held on to beat the Orioles, 3-2, on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak at the Coliseum.
The loss dropped Baltimore (63-48) into a tie for first place in the American League East with the Blue Jays after Toronto beat the Rays, 7-5. Oakland (49-63) won for just the second time in its past 10 games, and did so behind the suddenly reliable Graveman, who won his career-high eighth game.
The sinkerballer allowed one run on six hits over seven innings and is 7-1 over his past 13 starts. Baltimore mounted one serious threat against the righty, scoring a run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Manny Machado after loading the bases with one out, but Chris Davis grounded out to end the inning. Graveman surrendered only two singles over his last four innings, and neither runner advanced.

"This is only the second time I've ever seen him," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. "But I saw him pound the strike zone with that sinker. We had opportunities. We just didn't come through."
Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman's only misstep through the first five innings was a solo homer by Vogt in the fourth. He walked Vogt to begin the sixth and Yonder Alonso later singled, setting up Billy Butler's two-out RBI single to make it 2-1. The A's had been 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, following a weekend series against the Cubs in which they scored three runs in three games.
Gausman solid, but remains winless on road
"Today was big for me," Vogt said. "It's been a couple weeks since I felt like I've really driven the ball or felt comfortable at the plate."
Vogt added an RBI single in the seventh to give the A's a 3-1 lead. Machado blasted a homer (446 feet per Statcast™) to left off Ryan Dull in the eighth, his 26th of the year and fourth in two games. Machado's villain status -- he was involved in a series of controversies with Oakland in June 2014 -- wasn't lost on the Coliseum crowd, which showered him with boos every time he stepped to the plate.

Baltimore couldn't rally, however, as Ryan Madson pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 23rd save.

Graveman remains steady: Oakland's injury issues among starters is well documented, and Graveman's the only pitcher that has remained in the rotation all season. He's become the A's most reliable pitcher, allowing three earned runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts. He induced 14 ground-ball outs in seven innings, which is typically an indicator of his success.
"They're a great hitting team," Graveman said of the Orioles. "[They have] the most home runs in the league by a lineup. You just try to keep them in the park."

"In a year that's been plagued by injury in the starting pitching department, he's been our steady," Vogt said. "He's pitched like a pro, he's taking the ball and he's learning a lot about himself." More >
Kim extends hitting streak:Hyun Soo Kim singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. His single to center loaded the bases ahead of Machado's sacrifice fly.
Hardy hustle:J.J. Hardy tagged up and scored on Machado's foulout to first base. Given the foul territory in Oakland, it was a smart play. Without it, the Orioles may not have scored after loading the bases with one out.

"We didn't generate enough offense," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Even those three hits in the third weren't hit that hard."
Vogt stays involved: Vogt was hitting just .116 over his past 12 games before his fourth-inning homer to right field, which went 394 feet, according to Statcast™. All nine of his home runs have been solo shots off right-handers. Vogt scored the go-ahead run in the sixth and added an RBI single in the seventh, reaching base three times.

"Big night. He had been struggling a little bit, pressing a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Certainly once you hit a home run, it kind of alleviates some of the pressing. Just as big was his next hit."
"I don't know that anything surprises me about him any more. He's one of the best in the game. He has an idea of what pitchers are trying to throw him. You don't see him take very many ugly swings up there." -- Gausman, on Machado
Orioles: Left-hander Wade Miley makes his second start with the Orioles on Tuesday at 10:05 p.m. ET. He lost his club debut, but pitched well enough to earn praise from Showalter. He's lost seven of his past eight games, though he's pitched well enough to win a couple of those.
A's:Zach Neal makes his second start Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. PT at the Coliseum. He hopes it's better than his first, when he allowed seven runs in four innings to the Mariners on May 25. Neal's on his fourth stint with the A's this year and has pitched primarily in relief, posting a 5.25 ERA in 12 appearances.
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Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for based in the Bay Area and covered the A's on Monday.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to and covered the Orioles on Monday.