BALTIMORE (AP) – Zach Britton’s AL-record run of converting 60 straight save attempts ended amid the evening shadows of Camden Yards, when the Orioles closer blew a two-run lead and failed to get out of the ninth inning in a game Baltimore ultimately won in the 12th, 8-7 over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
Baltimore led 7-5 heading into the ninth when Britton entered to seal the victory, just as he had been doing successfully since the final days of the 2015 season. On this occasion, however, the left-hander gave up three straight hits before a sacrifice fly by Matt Joyce tied it.
Following a walk to Khris Davis, Britton was replaced by Miguel Castro (3-1), who quelled the uprising.
Manny Machado led off the 12th with a home run off Simon Castro (1-2) to end a game that lasted 4 hours, 20 minutes.
Britton’s streak began on Oct. 1, 2015, extended through all of last season and went for 11 more saves this year. He had not blown a save since Sept. 20, 2015, at Tampa Bay.
Britton finished well short of Eric Gagne’s major league mark of 84, set from 2002-04.
The Orioles let a five-run lead shrink to 6-5 in the eighth before Chris Davis hit his 20th home run to provide a bit of breathing room for Britton.
It wasn’t enough.
Machado’s 28th homer enabled Baltimore to win two of three from the Athletics and remain relevant in the wild-card chase. Since sweeping Kansas City on July 31-Aug. 2, Baltimore had lost three series and split two.
Trey Mancini and Welington Castillo also homered from the Orioles.
Castillo delivered a two-run drive in the sixth to make it 6-1, but the A’s chased starter Dylan Bundy in a two-run seventh and further cut the gap when Joyce hit a two-run shot off Mychal Givens.
Recalled from Triple-A Nashville before the game, Oakland starter Daniel Gossett gave up five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.
Athletics: RHP Michael Brady was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to make room for Gossett.
Orioles: Activated Castro from the bereavement list and optioned RHP Alec Asher to Triple-A Norfolk.
TO THE PEN
Oakland bumped RHP Chris Smith (0-3, 5.56 ERA) from the starting rotation to make room for Gossett. Smith allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings Monday against Baltimore and will be available out of the bullpen Friday.
Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin has not yet decided whether RHP Paul Blackburn will make his next start after he was hit with a line drive on the right wrist Tuesday. . SS Marcus Semien, who missed two games with irritated scar tissue from his April wrist surgery, returned to the lineup Wednesday.
Orioles: RHP Hunter Harvey, Baltimore’s No. 1 pick (22nd overall) in 2013, continued his climb back from Tommy John surgery on Tuesday with first appearance at Single-A Delmarva this season. Harvey pitched three hitless innings against Hickory.
Athletics: After a day off Thursday, RHP Kendall Graveman (3-4, 4.54 ERA) draws the start at home in the opener of a three-game series against Texas. Graveman is 2-2 with 5.20 ERA in six career starts against the Rangers.
Orioles: Baltimore also has Thursday off. It begins a three-game set at Boston on Friday, with RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 6.35 in four starts with the Orioles) on the mound.
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