OAKLAND (AP) — His face full of dirt and his body atop the third base bag, Eric Sogard was more concerned with being safe than watching the throw from Baltimore’s Manny Machado sail into left field.
For a few moments, it even looked as if Sogard would stay put on the ground.
Sogard eventually got to his feet and scrambled home, making a headfirst dive with the winning run in the 10th inning that lifted the Oakland Athletics over the Orioles 9-8 Sunday.
“I was trying to read the crowd whether I was safe or out,” said Sogard, who singled leading off the inning. “Everyone was screaming at me to go and I didn’t know what was going on. I was just trying to figure out what the play was, where the ball ended up (and) whether I was just safe.”
Down 5-0 in the sixth, the A’s tied it at 8 on Yoenis Cespedes’ two-run homer with one out in the ninth. He was activated from the disabled list before the game after being out with a strained muscle in his left hand.
The Athletics ended a four-game losing streak and prevented Baltimore from a four-game sweep.
Sogard hit a leadoff single in the 10th and moved to second when reliever Pedro Strop (0-1) made a wide throw to second on Adam Rosales’ bunt. Coco Crisp followed with a sacrifice bunt and Machado threw wildly past to shortstop J.J. Hardy covering third.
“I’m proud that they went for it. I would have too,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of his defense. “You have to take a pop at it or they have too many things set up.”
Cespedes also singled and scored during Oakland’s four-run sixth inning. The A’s are 9-2 with the Cuban slugger in their lineup this season and 5-10 without him.
“He’s very impactful, obviously,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “That home run was kind of what he’s all about. We need him in the lineup and he showed today why.”
Seth Smith also homered for Oakland. Coco Crisp had two hits and scored twice and Josh Donaldson drove in two runs.
Chris Davis hit his team-leading ninth home run, a solo shot in the eighth that put Baltimore ahead 7-6. Machado added an RBI double in the ninth.
Nate McLouth, who scored four times, and Machado each had four hits for the Orioles.
Baltimore was trying for its first four-game sweep at the Coliseum since 1987. The Orioles lost for just the fourth time in 13 games.
Orioles closer Jim Johnson had pitched four times in the previous five games and was unavailable. Strop had also struggled in recent outings, which is why Showalter stayed with the left-handed Brian Matusz against Cespedes in the ninth.
Jerry Blevins (1-0) pitched one inning for the win.
Davis had a two-run double off Oakland starter Bartolo Colon in the fourth and later homered off Sean Doolittle.
The A’s scored four runs in the sixth. Smith hit a tying two-run homer in the seventh.
Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez, who allowed only two baserunners through the first five innings, gave up four in the sixth.
NOTES: Colon has walked just one batter in 32 innings this season. ... The A’s scratched LHP Brett Anderson from his scheduled start Monday due to lingering soreness in his right ankle. RHP Dan Straily (1-0) will replace Anderson and start against the Angels. ... Baltimore placed backup catcher Taylor Teagarden on the 15-day DL with a dislocated left thumb. ... To make room for Cespedes, OF Casper Wells was designated for assignment. ... LHP Zach Britton will make his first start this year when the Orioles begin a three-game series in Seattle. Britton, who was recalled from the minors on Thursday, is 16-14 in two seasons with Baltimore.