A's use 8th different starter in 8 days, fall to Orioles

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — For the first few innings, the final starter in the Oakland Athletics' improvised eight-man rotation did just fine.

Then, Andrew Triggs ran into Mark Trumbo and trouble.

Trumbo hit a grand slam for his major league-leading 32nd homer and drove in five runs as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Athletics 9-6 Thursday to avoid a four-game sweep.

Because of injuries to Oakland pitchers, Triggs came out of the bullpen for his second major league start.

Triggs was pressed into duty because of Oakland's injury-riddled rotation. He was the eighth different starter in eight games for the A's.

"Out of necessity," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

The rookie blanked Baltimore into the fourth. At that point, the Orioles had been shut out for 17 straight innings and lost their lead in the AL East following three consecutive one-run losses before

Trumbo broke Baltimore's spell with an RBI single in a three-run fourth off Triggs (0-1).

The All-Star slugger connected the next inning for his third career grand slam off Daniel Coulombe.

"It's hard to shut a team like that down four games in a row," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "It's not like you sit back and expect it, but there's definitely an uneasy feeling whenever any of those guys step in the box because 1-through-9 they can hit the ball out of the park at any moment."

Triggs left after the fourth.

"We felt confident enough where our bullpen was today (to give us) some length in both (Chris) Smith and Coulombe to start him," Melvin said. "All in all, for a reliever to come in and start like that, I thought he pitched well."

Triggs said he was pleased with his performance.

"I ran into some speed bumps and some groundballs found holes," he said. "Overall, I was happy with the pitches that I was making."

"Physically, I felt fine," he said.

Ryon Healy and Max Muncy homered for the A's. Yonder Alonso doubled in two runs during a four-run eighth.

Zach Britton retired three batters for his AL-leading 35th save this season and his 37th consecutive dating to last season. The A's loaded the bases in the ninth after a replay overturn before Britton got Danny Valencia to ground out to end it.

Chris Tillman (15-4) allowed two runs over seven innings for his first victory since July 21. He is Baltimore's first 15-game winner since Bud Norris and Wei-Yin Chen in 2014.

"I think we played really clean top-to-bottom baseball this entire series," Healy said. "Winning three one-run ballgames in the big leagues is not easy to do and we did that three days in a row. It shows how quality our pitching staff was and our defense was solid."

"The first three games and today we showed some good heart and the last few innings battling back, so I think it's a good sign for our team moving forward," he said.

Adam Jones homered for the Orioles and Pedro Alvarez drove in three runs.


In addition to his home run, Healy also made a stellar defensive play. The rookie third baseman made a diving stop of Manny Machado's hard-hit grounder in the first, then tumbled and rolled as he hit the infield dirt. Healy did a second 360-turn as he stood up and threw to first for the out.

"I think the play ended up looking more spectacular than it needed to," Healy said. "The second spin kind of just happened and I ended up picking up Yonder at first base, and was able to get the out."


Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy was given the day off, his first since July 24th. ... Manager Buck Showalter said a decision will be made soon whether to put OF Steve Pearce on the disabled list. Pearce received a cortisone injection in his right forearm earlier in the week but continues to be bothered by a flexor mass strain.

Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn (strained right shoulder) will throw in the next few days and is likely to make one rehab start while on the disabled list before returning to the big league club.


Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (3-7) faces Seattle in the opener of a three-game series in Oakland on Friday. He is winless over his previous six outings despite a 2.58 ERA during that span.