BALTIMORE (AP) - The Oakland Athletics couldn't get more than one hit in any inning against Baltimore, and many of their hard-hit balls went directly into the glove of one of the Orioles.
The result was a hauntingly familiar 4-0 defeat Tuesday night that extended the A's losing streak to a season-high eight games.
``It seems like it's been happening like that all year, especially the last couple of weeks,' Oakland center fielder Ryan Sweeney lamented. ``We're having good at bats but can't put anything together and hit it right at somebody.'
Chris Jakubauskas pitched five innings of three-hit ball and the Orioles hit three solo homers to move into position to complete a three-game sweep Wednesday. Baltimore had lost eight straight series to Oakland since July 2007.
Jakubauskas (1-0) came into the game with a 6.39 ERA over five appearances, all in relief. He was pressed into duty because the Orioles are carrying only four starters and were playing for a fifth straight day.
Operating against Oakland's anemic offense, Jakubauskas looked like the ace of the Baltimore staff. The A's, who have averaged three runs per game while batting .217 during their eight-game skid, absorbed their seventh shutout loss of the season.
``We didn't hit the ball extremely well, but when we did it was definitely right at somebody,' Oakland manager Bob Geren said. ``They had some homers and we couldn't link any hits together. Made plays defensively, but nothing on the scoreboard.'
The last time Jakubauskas started a game was on April 24, 2010, with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In that game, the right-hander was struck in the head by a liner off the bat of Lance Berkman in the first inning and carted off the field.
Against Oakland, Jakubauskas had a two-hit shutout in the fifth inning when Cliff Pennington smacked a line drive that hit the pitcher above his left ankle.
``There were some choice words that went through my mind after it happened, but I try to keep those as quiet as I could,' Jakubauskas said. ``It was more of just, 'I can't believe this. Really? Again I get hit?''
After consulting with trainer Richie Bancells and manager Buck Showalter, Jakubauskas took a few warmup tosses and finished his outing by retiring Jemile Weeks for the third out.
It was enough to get him his first win in the majors since 2009 with Seattle.
J.J. Hardy and Luke Scott connected against Guillermo Moscoso (2-2), and Adam Jones made it 3-0 in the sixth with a drive off Michael Wuertz. Mark Reynolds added an RBI double in the seventh against Craig Breslow.
The eight-game slide is Oakland's longest since an identical skid from Sept. 27, 2009, to April 5, 2010. The A's are 5-15 since May 17.
Making his major league debut, Weeks went 0 for 4 in the leadoff spot. Weeks, the 12th overall pick in the 2008 draft, had his contract purchased from Triple-A Sacramento before the game. The second baseman is the younger brother of Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks.
After Jakubauskas left, Clay Rapada retired two batters in the sixth, Jeremy Accardo worked 2 1-3 innings and Koji Uehara got the final three outs to complete the five-hitter.
Batting at the top of the order for the first time this season, Hardy hit his first career leadoff homer, a drive to left that provided Baltimore with a lead it would not relinquish.
Scott hit his seventh homer of the season - the first since May 3 - leading off the fifth. The drive traveled an estimated 418 feet and landed on Eutaw Street beyond the 25-foot wall in right field.
Moscoso allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. Coming into the game, he had not given up a home run this season over 14 innings.
``I missed two pitches and I paid for it,' he said.
``He threw great tonight,' Sweeney said. ``We just didn't score any runs for him.'
Notes: The A's placed LHP Brett Anderson (sore elbow) and 2B Mark Ellis (strained right hamstring) on the 15-day disabled list. ... Actor Ed Harris threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Eight of Baltimore's last 10 home runs have been solo shots.
The Associated Press News Service
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