OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — With closer Jim Johnson unavailable and a shaky righty setup man still warming up, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter had no choice but to stick with Brian Matusz against Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes in the ninth inning.
It couldn't have gone any worse for the Orioles.
Cespedes hit a tying two-run homer off Matusz, then Baltimore made a pair of throwing mistakes in the 10th that allowed Eric Sogard to score the game-winner in the Athletics' 9-8 victory over the Orioles on Sunday.
"I think it just shows you a different chain when we give Jim a day," Showalter said after Baltimore's four-game winning streak ended. "I had to think about tomorrow, too."
The Orioles' bullpen blew a pair of two-run leads in the final four innings. Seth Smith hit a two-run home run off reliever Troy Patton in the seventh to erase a 6-4 deficit.
Chris Davis hit his team-leading ninth home run, a solo shot in the eighth that put Baltimore ahead 7-6. Machado added an RBI double in the ninth.
It didn't hold up.
Cespedes, activated from the disabled list before the game after being out with a strained muscle in his left hand, tied it with his homer. The A's won it in the 10th on Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado's throwing error on a bunt.
Sogard hit a leadoff single in the 10th and moved to second when reliever Pedro Strop (0-1) made a wide throw to second on Adam Rosales' bunt. Coco Crisp followed with a sacrifice bunt and Machado threw wildly past to shortstop J.J. Hardy covering third, allowing Sogard to score with a headfirst dive.
"Going in headfirst I couldn't really tell what was going on," Sogard said. "I was trying to read the crowd whether I was safe or out."