OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Baltimore Orioles entered the ninth inning Friday night on the verge of beginning the second half in spectacular fashion.
Third baseman Manny Machado silenced Oakland Athletics fans with a two-run, go-ahead homer in the seventh inning, and the Orioles were on their way to opening their three-city, 10-game, West Coast road trip with a win over the best team in baseball.
It all unraveled quickly, ending in the ninth inning on Josh Donaldson's three-run walk-off homer off Zach Britton, sealing a devastating, 5-4 loss at the O.co Coliseum.
Britton, who had converted 15 of 17 save opportunities and 10 straight, was unable to get an out in the ninth. Yoenis Cespedes reached on an infield single to third base, and Brandon Moss looped a single to right.
Donaldson then blasted a delivery by Britton over the center-field fence, prompting a celebration at home plate.
It had been nearly five weeks since Machado tossed a bat into the field of play in a game against the Athletics at Camden Yards,earning an ejection and eventual five-game suspension. That incident came two days after Machado confronted Donaldson for what he believed was a rough tag.
When Machado was introduced for pregame introductions, Oakland fans booed. When he took third base in the first inning, they booed. When he received the ball following a strikeout, they booed. And when Machado stepped up to the plate, they booed louder.
They waved large signs with Machado's face, some with a pacifier in his mouth, others with tears running down his face. They chanted, "Manny Sucks," while shaking baby rattles. One adult fan dressed like a baby, complete with an orange blanket and baby bottle.
Before the game, Machado said he had put the June 8 incident in the past -- as well as a first half that ended with the Orioles atop the American League East for the first time in 17 years.
Right-hander Chris Tillman opened the second half with his seventh quality start in the past eight outings, holding Oakland to two runs over four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters and walked just one. Tillman has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his past eight starts.
Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop both hit two-run homers off Oakland's big trade acquisition, Jeff Samardzija. Both homers gave the Orioles the lead, giving them 43 go-ahead homers. The Orioles now have 116 homers on the season, second most in the majors, one behind Toronto.
With the Orioles trailing 1-0 after ohn Jaso's two-out RBI double in the third, Schoop blasted a hanging, 3-2 breaking ball over the left-field fence in the fifth.
The Orioles had two on with no outs in the inning after J.J. Hardy was hit by a pitch in his helmet and Machado singled. But after Caleb Joseph hit into a 6-4-3 double play, it was up to Schoop to produce some offense.
That lead was short-lived, however. Oakland catcher Derek Norris lined a solo homer over the left-field fence to tie the game at 2.
Machado then put a jolt into a 94-mph fastball from Samardzija, lining it down the left-field line for a two-run homer.
The 22-year-old third baseman has been on a tear over the past 17 games. He's reached safely in every game, setting a new career high, and after a two-hit night Friday, he is hitting .415 with six homers and 11 RBIs over that span.
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