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July 21, 2014 at 4:53 am ET
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A Bloody Nose and a Loose Tooth: The Orioles in Oakland

baby mannyRemember that one kid in grade school who nobody messed with? He wasn’t big and he wasn’t loud and he kind of kept to himself. He was a little weird, but was also easy to overlook. Sometimes you forgot he was there at all.

But anybody who messed with that kid found himself in a hammerlock and went home with a busted lip.

The Orioles wobble into Anaheim today with a busted lip, courtesy of the totally weird Oakland Athletics. The O’s dropped two of three to the A’s, punctuated by Sunday’s 10-2 thrashing. The Orioles are pinning a good portion of their second-half hopes on young starter Kevin Gausman, who laid an egg Sunday.

Both the Jays and Yankees won yesterday; they both trail the Orioles by three games and seem to be pointed in the right direction.

The Orioles have a simple formula that has landed them in first place: hit the baseball into the cheap seats. When it works, it’s thrilling. When it doesn’t work, it’s dispiriting.

As painful as Friday night’s come-from-ahead loss was, the Baltimore offense still got to starter Jeff Samardzija. And on Saturday, the Oriole bats roughed up Jason Hammel for three runs before surrenduring an out. But Sunday, A’s starter Sonny Gray was untouchable. Gausman? Very touchable.

So crack open the smelling salts for tonight’s game against the Angels, who are mighty tough to beat at the Big A. The O’s hope they can shake up rookie starter Matt Shoemaker, whose last outing was a three-inning relief win over the Blue Jays.

Sum up the O’s weekend in a minute, 41 seconds with the Dickies’ classic “Give It Back.”
(“That night I was walking home / And when they caught me I was all alone / A bloody nose and a broken bone / I thought those brats were going to leave me alone.”)

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