OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Guillermo Moscoso went back to his cutter after slumping for a month or so. The results have been impressive.
Josh Willingham hit a home run and had two hits, Coco Crisp drove in two runs and Moscoso won for the third time in his last four starts as the Oakland Athletics beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Tuesday night.
``I just have to be aggressive and get ahead in the count,' Moscoso said. ``I want to throw first pitch strikes.'
Part of that aggressiveness has come from the cutter, a pitch he abandoned following his brief career with the Texas Rangers as a relief pitcher.
After losing five of six decisions between June 3-July 19, he worked with A's pitching coach Ron Romanick to reintroduce the cutter to his repertoire. It's worked.
``He's been pitching well for us all year,' A's manager Bob Melvin said. ``He looked good.'
Cliff Pennington had three hits, Jemile Weeks had two and both drove in runs for the A's, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Scott Sizemore, Kurt Suzuki and Hideki Matsui also had RBIs.
Brandon Allen, who has seven hits in his last three games, recorded his first career triple.
``It is? Congratulations to me,' Allen said. ``I've just been swinging it, trying to get good pitches and trying to hit them hard.'
Josh Bell drove in two runs for the Orioles, who have lost 15 of their last 19 road games. Vladimir Guerrero and Robert Andino also drove in runs.
Moscoso (6-6) won for the third time in his last four starts. He allowed three runs - two earned - on five hits. Moscoso walked one and struck out four.
Brian Matusz (1-5) went 6 2-3 innings in his first start since June 30, giving up six runs on eight hits. He walked three and struck out five in losing his fifth straight decision.
``I had a good feel from the get-go,' Matusz said. ``That second inning I got a little excited at times and got out of my rhythm. The walks killed me. I was able to bounce back and work hard throughout the entire game. I felt like I had a good feel for all my pitches.'
Bell was a late replacement for Chris Davis, who was placed on the disabled list with a slight tear in his right shoulder after being in the original lineup.
Willingham's third-inning home run snapped a five-game homerless streak for the A's, who have 77 homers on the year.
Crisp's two-run double in the seventh broke open a close game. Matsui followed with an RBI single.
``We ran into a few outs and left some runs out there early,' Melvin said. ``To add on though, that's always important.'
Sizemore and Weeks each doubled home a run in the second to help give Oakland the early advantage. Pennington singled home a run and was later thrown out at the plate by Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.
Jones also caught Willingham off first base to complete a double play in the sixth. He now has 13 outfield assists, most by any centerfielder and second most by any major league outfielder.
Bell drove in a run in the third and fifth. Guerrero doubled in a run in the fourth.
``We didn't do much offensively,' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ``I would have liked to see us give Brian a little breathing room there but we didn't really mount much.'
Suzuki added a sacrifice fly in the eighth to make it 8-3.
Weeks has 73 hits in his first 59 games with the A's, an Oakland record.
NOTES: Davis is expected to see Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Thursday. ... Willingham dropped a ball for the A's 100th error of the season. ... A's INF Conor Jackson missed his third game with neck stiffness. ... Orioles LHP Zach Britton (left shoulder) threw five innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Norfolk, allowing a run on three hits with three strikeouts and a walk. ... RHP Brandon McCarthy will start for the A's in Wednesday's series finale. He's 4-1 with a 3.79 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break. McCarthy is 0-1 in six career appearances, four starts, against the Orioles. RHP Alfredo Simon gets the call for the Orioles. He'll be making his first start against the A's, but he is 0-1 with a save in three relief appearances against them. ... Guerrero took over sole possession of 89th place on the all-time hits list (2,537) with his fourth-inning double. ... With the season series tied at 4-4, the Orioles will look to win their first season series from the A's since 1998.
The Associated Press News Service
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