BALTIMORE (AP) - Oakland manager Bob Geren didn't get too philosophical in trying to explain why the Athletics absorbed a three-game sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles.
``They outscored us, they outpitched us, they outhit us,' Geren said. ``That equals losses.'
Rookie Zach Britton took a four-hitter into the seventh inning, Mark Reynolds homered, and the Orioles beat the A's 3-2 on Wednesday night to stretch Oakland's losing streak to nine games.
The Athletics haven't won since outscoring Baltimore 16-8 during a three-game sweep on May 27-29. In the rematch at Camden Yards, Oakland managed only four runs in three games and never held the lead.
``The first series with them we didn't hit in certain situations and we didn't make key pitches in certain situations,' Orioles closer Kevin Gregg said. ``We really gave away three games to them at their place. Here, we played the game right.'
And Oakland did not. The A's got only 17 hits in the series and scored three earned runs.
``The offense has been hitting the ball real good, but balls have been caught,' A's starter Josh Outman said. ``We can't buy a hit.'
The trio of defeats left the Athletics mired in their longest slide since a 10-game run in 2008.
``It's the way the game goes,' Outman said. ``Once we get a couple wins, we'll get our swagger back and will get back some of our confidence.'
A's second baseman Jemile Weeks went 2 for 3 and scored both Oakland runs. The former first-round draft pick went hitless in his major league debut Tuesday night.
``I am excited. This is something I hope to do all season as long as I am here,' Weeks said. ``This is what they want to see from me, and it's what I do.'
Said Geren: ``He's exciting. That's what the fans are going to see: A guy that will bring energy and excitement to the team. ... He's an exciting player. That's why you pick someone No. 1 in the draft, to get that kind of talent level.
``He was a big factor in the game tonight. I wish he had batted one more time.'
Still, Oakland suffered its first three-game sweep in Baltimore since July 21-23, 1998.
Britton (6-4) allowed four hits and two walks in 6 1-3 innings. The left-hander, who tied his career high with six strikeouts, was 0-3 in six starts since May 1.
Asked to assess his performance, Britton said, ``I thought it was pretty good, obviously better than the previous couple outings.'
Jim Johnson gave up an unearned run in 1 2-3 innings and Gregg worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save.
Baltimore got all its runs in the fifth inning against Outman (1-1). Vladimir Guerrero hit a leadoff single, advanced on a two-out wild pitch and scored on a single by J.J. Hardy. Reynolds followed with his 10th home run.
``Hardy did a good job of staying back on a 3-2 changeup and Reynolds got the first pitch,' Outman said. ``It was down and away from him and he went out and got it.'
Oakland ended a string of 19 straight scoreless innings in the sixth. After singles by Weeks and Coco Crisp put runners at the corners with no outs, Daric Barton hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
The A's closed to 3-2 in the eighth. Left fielder Nolan Reimold misjudged a line drive by Weeks for a three-base error and Crisp followed with a sacrifice fly.
Oakland made two exceptional fielding plays in the early going. Crisp tracked down a liner to deep center by Guerrero, and shortstop Cliff Pennington dived deep in the hole to snare a grounder before rising to his feet and throwing out Hardy.
``The guys made some great defensive plays out there,' Geren said. ``The guys are giving me great effort. Effort has never been a problem and I don't ever anticipate it being a problem.'
Backed with that kind of defensive support and aided by a double play, Outman faced the minimum 12 batters through four innings.
But Baltimore broke open the scoreless duel in the fifth.
Outman allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. Oakland starters are 0-8 with a 6.88 ERA during the nine-game losing streak.
NOTES: The Orioles will put 1B Derrek Lee on the bereavement list Thursday so he can attend his grandfather's funeral in California. Baltimore is off Thursday, but Lee is expected to miss the entire three-game series against Tampa Bay that begins Friday night. ... Oakland's 14-24 record in night games is worst in the AL. ... Total attendance for the series was a meager 35,968. ... Oakland INF Andy LaRoche, who was designated for assignment on Sunday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento. ... Johnson has allowed only two earned runs in his last 16 appearances (21 IP).
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