Oakland, CA – After an emotional and joyous ceremony celebrating the A’s 25th anniversary honoring the 1989 World Series club. Oakland could not dig themselves out of the hole that was dug early. In his home debut, Jason Hammel’s outing lasted only two plus innings after he yielded five runs in the first two frames.
Hammel found himself getting boo’d in front of the sellout crowd. The A’s fell 8-4 to the Orioles who evened the series snapping Oakland’s six-game winning streak at home. In his first home start, Hammel gave up a single to Nick Markakis who leadoff the first and walked Steve Pearce putting two on with no outs.
“I played with those guys for two years, so they know me pretty well, I know them,” said Hammel. “Just bad execution on my part. Bottom line is I have to do better.”
Adam Jones followed with a three-run homer making it a 3-0 game. After settling in, he struck out the next two batters but yielded a solo home run to J.J. Hardy. In the third Hammel issued a free pass to Jones to leadoff the frame. Allowed a single to Nelson Cruz and a RBI double to Chris Davis extending Baltimore’s lead 5-0.
Dan Otero came in forcing the next batter to ground out but walked Manny Machado. Nick Hundley grounded out to end the bases load threat. The damage had been done and the A’s had work to do but the Orioles wouldn’t make it easy especially since they took advantage of their ex-teammate.
“Trust me, we had Ham… he’s good people and a good pitcher,” manager Buck Showalter said. “They made a good acquisition and they’ll like him. We were just fortunate on the mistakes he made. He’s one of those guys you’ve got to get something early off of.”
Brandon Moss woke up Oakland’s offense with a solo blast to right field making it a 5-1 game. Nate Freiman singled but Nick Punto hit into a double play and Coco Crisp struck out to end the inning. But the A’s kept fighting back, they added two more runs in the fourth and one in the sixth cutting the lead down to three.
“That’s an attribute that this team takes pride in,” said manager Bob Melvin. “That no matter what happens early on, we’re going to try to peck away a little bit and get the tying run at the plate.”
The Orioles offense continued with their hits, Markakis hit a single, Pearce followed with a double and Jones brought in two with a two-run RBI single. Oakland’s bullpen shutout the Orioles for the next four innings giving the A’s a chance to get back in this game. But closer Jim Johnson surrendered a solo home run to Chris Davis.
Notes – The Oakland A’s celebrated the 25th anniversary of the club’s 1989 World Series title, a four game sweep over the the Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco Giants. The reunion ceremony brought out the entire team including four current coaches who appeared via video tribute that included Dodgers coaches Rick Honeycutt and Mark McGwire.
All of the players including manager Tony La Russa walked down the red carpet on the field with the current A’s players, coaches and staff to greet them. At the end of the journey they were handed a single yellow rose to be placed on the mound where former teammate Bob Welch’s number 35 was etched.
Proceeds from the two-day event will benefit the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, the preferred charity of Dave Henderson. The A’s raised $40,000 for the foundation. Henderson’s son is afflicted with the severe neurogenetic disorder. The proceeds came from an autograph session and pre-game reception that was sold out.