BALTIMORE -- The result was a familiar one for the Oakland Athletics. How they pulled it off was anything but commonplace.
Oakland used consecutive home runs from Bobby Crosby and Mark Ellis, the Nos. 8 and 9 batters in the lineup, to erase a three-run deficit. Then the Athletics took the lead by scoring twice without a hit.
It all added up to another one-run victory for the A's, 5-4 over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night. It was Oakland's AL-high 19th one-run win -- including 11 of the last 12.
Oakland managed only five hits, two after the third inning. But the A's benefited from two walks and an error by reliever Eddy Rodriguez to go up 5-3 in the fourth, and Estaban Loaiza and the Oakland bullpen did the rest.
"We took advantage of the throwing error by the pitcher and we held on," Oakland manager Ken Macha said.
Kevin Millar homered for the Orioles, who failed for a fifth time to forge a four-game winning streak. Baltimore, San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs are the only major league teams that haven't won four in a row.
The game turned in the fourth, when Oakland scored two unearned runs against Rodriguez, who replaced starter Russ Ortiz in the third after a rain delay of 1 hour, 27 minutes.
Rodriguez (0-1) walked Jay Payton and Crosby, then threw wildly to second base after fielding a comebacker from Jason Kendall. Payton scored on the play, and Mark Kotsay drove in Crosby with a groundout.
"When it was all said and done, if we just make that play and the next guy grounds out, we're out of the inning and they don't score again," said Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo, who was ejected in the eighth inning by home plate umpire Ted Barrett for arguing a third-strike call on Ramon Hernandez.
Baltimore closed to 5-4 in the sixth. After Loaiza gave up a leadoff single to Corey Patterson and struck out Millar, Brad Halsey yielded an RBI double to Nick Markakis.
Loaiza (4-5) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Huston Street, the fourth A's reliever, worked the ninth for his 20th save, retiring Melvin Mora on a first-pitch groundout with the potential tying run on third base.
"I don't like to swing at the first pitch," Mora said. "I tried to hold my bat, but I couldn't and hit a groundball."
Baltimore went up 1-0 in the first inning when Jeff Conine singled in a run with two outs, his 1,000th career RBI.
Millar made it 3-0 in the second, hitting his seventh homer after Patterson led off with a single. It was Millar's first home run since June 5.
Ortiz retired the first six batters but didn't get out of the third inning. Payton hit a leadoff triple and Crosby followed with his ninth homer, despite starting the game with a .341 slugging percentage -- second-lowest in the AL.
"You guys probably don't know how good that felt," said Crosby, who had gone since May 31 without a home run. "It's been frustrating. I've been hitting the ball hard at times, but to get one to go over, it's nice."
Three pitches later, Ellis hit his fifth homer to tie the game at three. Ortiz retired two of the next three batters before rain stopped the game and ended the right-hander's third start with Baltimore.
"I just made two stupid mistakes to those guys," said Ortiz, who's winless since August. "I threw the ball right down the middle of the plate."
Although Ortiz wasn't involved in the decision, his ERA swelled to 9.00.
The temperature at game time was announced at 100 degrees, but the rain cooled things considerably. ... Ellis' homer was the 33rd of his career, breaking a tie with Dave Collins for the most home runs by a major leaguer born in South Dakota. "They better name a street after him, name something after him," Crosby said. "What is there, like two baseball players that come from South Dakota?" ... Baltimore fell to 13-8 in one-run games.
|Players of the Game|
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|Jason Kendall, C||5||0||0||0||0||0||1||.268|
|Mark Kotsay, CF||4||0||0||1||0||0||1||.259|
|Milton Bradley, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.239|
|Eric Chavez, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||2||0||.236|
|Frank Thomas, DH||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.245|
|Nick Swisher, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.256|
|Jay Payton, LF||3||2||1||0||1||2||1||.281|
|Bobby Crosby, SS||3||2||2||2||1||0||0||.234|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||3||1||1||1||0||2||2||.218|
|3B - Jay Payton (3, Ortiz)|
|HR - Bobby Crosby (9, Ortiz), Mark Ellis (5, Ortiz)|
|SH - Mark Ellis (1)|
|RBI - Mark Kotsay (36), Bobby Crosby 2 (37), Mark Ellis (21)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Esteban Loaiza (W,4-5)||5.1||7||4||4||2||6||1||6.38|
|Brad Halsey (H,4)||0.2||1||0||0||0||1||0||3.80|
|Kiko Calero (H,15)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.03|
|Justin Duchscherer (H,4)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.33|
|Huston Street (S,20)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||3.05|
|HBP - Tejada (by Esteban Loaiza)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Esteban Loaiza 100-67, Brad Halsey 17-9, Kiko Calero 7-7, Justin Duchscherer 18-11, Huston Street 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esteban Loaiza 7-3, Brad Halsey 1-0, Justin Duchscherer 1-0, Huston Street 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Esteban Loaiza 26, Brad Halsey 3, Kiko Calero 3, Justin Duchscherer 3, Huston Street 4|
|Brian Roberts, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.299|
|Brandon Fahey, LF||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.267|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.287|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.313|
|Jeff Conine, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.264|
|Ramon Hernandez, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.266|
|Corey Patterson, CF||4||2||2||0||0||1||0||.274|
|Kevin Millar, DH||3||1||1||2||1||1||1||.252|
|Nick Markakis, RF||3||0||2||1||1||1||0||.278|
|2B - Nick Markakis (10, Halsey)|
|HR - Kevin Millar (7, Loaiza)|
|SH - Brian Roberts (5)|
|RBI - Jeff Conine (32), Kevin Millar 2 (35), Nick Markakis (23)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeff Conine (10)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Eddy Rodriguez (1, wild throw)|
|Eddy Rodriguez (L,0-1)||2.1||1||2||0||4||2||0||4.00|
|HBP - Kotsay (by Russ Ortiz)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Russ Ortiz 44-26, Eddy Rodriguez 61-31, Chris Britton 25-15, LaTroy Hawkins 21-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Russ Ortiz 3-3, Eddy Rodriguez 2-4, Chris Britton 1-2, LaTroy Hawkins 3-1|
|Batters Faced - Russ Ortiz 12, Eddy Rodriguez 13, Chris Britton 6, LaTroy Hawkins 7|
|Attendance - 20827|
|Game Time - 2:52|
|Temperature - 100|
|Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Rick Reed, Third Base - Tim Tschida|