OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Adam Jones slowed down just before reaching third base following Chris Davis' hard double to left field in the fourth inning, then decided to keep going.
The speedy Baltimore center fielder should have went with his first instinct.
Jones was thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay throw from Oakland shortstop Stephen Drew, a costly mistake on a night the Orioles were knocked out of first place in the AL East.
"It changed the dynamics of the game," said Jones following Baltimore's 5-2 loss to the Athletics on Saturday night. "I just slowed down. Honestly, there's no reason why. There's no excuse why. It's one of those things you can't explain."
The Orioles have a lot of explaining to do after dropping their second straight on this nine-game road trip.
The loss dropped Baltimore a game behind first-place New York in the division and three behind Oakland in the AL wild card race with 17 games remaining.
"This time of year you've gotta make the plays," Jones said. "Every out is important, all 27 outs. We're playing good baseball, we just have do what has gotten us here."
Nate McLouth homered for Baltimore but the Orioles managed only one other run off Oakland starter Jarrod Parker and two relievers.
Drew hit his second home run with the A's and fourth overall, Chris Carter had a two-run double as part of a five-run third inning while Josh Reddick added two hits and an RBI for Oakland.
Parker (11-8) allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time since mid-July. The A's rookie right-hander struck out five, walked one and retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced.
"He's maturing more and more as the season goes along," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He's done it a couple times now where he's not off to the greatest start in the world but he's able to recover, think calmly and make some adjustments."
Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless eighth and Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his 19th save.
Baltimore took an early 2-0 but starter Zach Britton (5-3) couldn't make it hold up.0
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