BALTIMORE - Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said the Orioles were determined to show some fight in a series against the Oakland Athletics after suffering through a no-hitter in Seattle to end their most recent road trip.
So far, the Orioles have not only shown great spirit, they have also put themselves in position to earn a spot in the postseason for the third time in four years.
Baltimore outfielder Gerardo Parra tied a career high with five hits, including a home run and three RBIs, as the Orioles pounded the Athletics 18-2 on Sunday.
After going hitless against Hisashi Iwakuma on Wednesday, Baltimore erupted for 10 home runs in this series and will go for a four-game sweep Monday. Oakland, which is mired in last place in the American League West, has lost six straight.
"We're still in the thick of this thing," Joseph said. "When you can get the bats going, you just try to run with it the best you can."
Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (7-6) improved to 5-0 in seven career starts against the A's. He allowed two runs on eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over six innings.
Parra now has three home runs (12 overall) since being traded to the Orioles from Milwaukee on July 31. Joseph connected for his 11th homer and had a career-high four RBIs. Baltimore backup catcher Steve Clevenger, who was called up Friday from Triple-A Norfolk, had a career-high four hits as the DH.
"You've worn both shoes," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "When you're dealing with guys this talented at this level, it can snowball one way or the other. Just went our way today, a lot of things."
Oakland second baseman Brett Lawrie had two hits, including his 11th homer, a solo shot in the fourth. A's manager Bob Melvin had a meeting with the team following the game.
"We haven't had too many of those," Melvin said about the lopsided loss. "You're going to have some of those through the course of the season. But some of those expose some of the things that need to be talked about."
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the first when Parra drove a fastball by Kendall Graveman over the right-center-field fence. The A's responded in the second when Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis failed to catch a popup in shallow right by shortstop Marcus Semien, who got credited with a double. Right fielder Sam Fuld followed with another double to right that tied the game at one.
The Orioles' bats, however, stayed hot and they retook the lead that inning. Joseph hit a two-out, two-run double to left, and third baseman Manny Machado followed another double to almost the same spot for a three-run lead. A single by Parra increased the margin to 5-1.
The damage continued as Jones led off the third with a home run to straight-away center. After allowing a walk to Joseph with one out later that inning, Graveman was pulled for right-hander Dan Otero. Graveman (6-9) was charged with six runs on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts on 70 pitches.
"It was tough putting my team in that position there," Graveman said. "I take full responsibility for what happened today. I put some guys in bad positions."
Baltimore continued to pound the A's pitching and scored another nine runs in the fifth to take a 15-2 lead. The barrage started with an RBI single by Davis, a fielder's choice by Clevenger and another two-run single by left fielder Henry Urrutia. Machado hit a two-run double, followed by another double by Parra that ended Otero's day.
Edward Mujica entered and allowed a two-run homer to Jones in the fifth and another solo shot to Joseph an inning later. Urrutia had an RBI single in the seventh that provided an 18-2 lead.
NOTES: Orioles C Matt Wieters still has "a little knot" in his right hamstring and was held out of the lineup for the fourth straight game. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said Wieters could return as early as Monday for the series finale against Oakland. ... A's RHP Sonny Gray will start Monday after being scratched from his previous outing because of back spasms. Gray is 12-4 with a 2.06 ERA. ... With two homers Saturday night, 1B Chris Davis passed Cal Ripken Jr. for fifth place on the Orioles' all-time home run list at Camden Yards with 87.