OAKLAND, Calif. – Baltimore manager Buck Showalter had a meeting with his coaches to decide whether to start catcher Matt Wieters in Sunday’s series finale.
“It was a short conversation,” Showalter said. “Matt means a lot to us, and we like his presence in the lineup.”
Wieters hit two solo home runs, and Endy Chavez had four hits to help the Orioles beat the Oakland Athletics 9-5 and remain within a game of the New York Yankees in the American League East.
“I’m finally putting the barrel on a few balls,” Wieters said. “That’s something you are always working on, and once the game comes around, you have to let it go.”
Chavez drove in two runs for the Orioles, who have won four of six in snapping a three-game road losing streak. J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds, Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Robert Andino also drove in runs.
“Every game right now is a must-win,” Wieters said. “This is a tough place to win. To be able to get one, we’ll take it, move on to Seattle and try to win a couple up there.”
Josh Reddick, who drove in three runs, and Stephen Drew hit two-run homers for the Athletics, who are two games ahead of the Orioles for the first wild-card spot. Adam Rosales had two hits.
Brian Matusz (6-10) retired all six batters he faced, two on strikeouts, to earn the victory. Jim Johnson got the last out for his 43rd save.
A’s starter Dan Straily (2-1)
lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs and five hits. He walked five and struck out one.
Straily’s effort ended a 44-game A’s streak of walking three or fewer batters.