A’s hope runs keep coming against Orioles

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics will look to continue to take advantage of a wounded rival Saturday when they host the Baltimore Orioles on the second night of a three-game series.

The A’s opened a six-game homestand with a hard-fought, 6-4 win over the Orioles on Friday night, riding the same successful formula that’s allowed them to win six of their last seven home games.

Khris Davis and Matt Olson hit first-inning home runs and Jed Lowrie added another three hits for the A’s, who used power to build an early lead, and then Lowrie’s clutch hitting after Baltimore had rallied into a late tie.

“We’ve been scoring runs late in games,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin, whose previous win Wednesday was the result of three late runs against the Seattle Mariners. “Our at-bats seem to get better as we get later in the games. In the age of strikeouts, good things can happen when you put the ball in play.”

The latter was a reference to Lowrie’s two-out, tie-breaking single in the sixth Friday night. The third hit not only raised his average to .356, but also capped his sixth game this season with three or more hits.

Right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-1, 3.00 ERA) hopes for the same type of offensive support in Saturday’s middle game of the series when he attempts to pick up where he left off in his last home start as the A’s go for a fourth straight home win.

A former All-Star for the A’s who was traded away in 2011, Cahill enjoyed a happy reunion on April 17 in his first start for Oakland in seven years.

He shut out the Chicago White Sox on five hits over seven innings in a 10-2 win.

In his most recent start, Cahill gave up four runs (three earned) and four hits in six innings, and he took the loss in an 8-4 defeat against Houston on Sunday.

Cahill has faced the Orioles four times in his career, going 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA.

Another familiar face to A’s fans, Danny Valencia, has been the Oriole that’s given Cahill the most trouble in his career. The two-year member of the A’s has two singles and a home run in six head-to-heads with Cahill.

Valencia, signed by Baltimore as a free agent in March, capped his new team’s comeback Friday night with an RBI single in the sixth inning that got the Orioles even at 4-4. They had trailed 4-1 since the first inning.

But the Baltimore bullpen, missing injured closer Zach Britton, let the game get away shortly thereafter.

The Orioles will hand the ball to right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-2, 4.15) for Saturday’s start.

He’s coming off a 5-3 win over Detroit on Sunday, a game in which he allowed one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. It was the fifth straight game he gave up three or fewer runs.

Gausman is 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA in three starts against the A’s, but has never won in Oakland, where he’s gone 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts.

Coincidentally, he struck out Valencia, then with the A’s, twice in three at-bats in his most recent start in Oakland in 2016.

The Orioles have lost 10 in a row on the road, including all four games on their current six-game trip that ends Sunday.