Orioles eye series win versus A's

After Friday night's slugfest, the Baltimore Orioles will try to take control of the weekend series with the Oakland Athletics on Saturday at Camden Yards.

After getting down 3-0 early in Friday's series opener, the Orioles exploded for a six-run fourth inning, highlighted by a grand slam from Brian Roberts. The Athletics reclaimed the advantage with a four-run top of the fifth, but the O's tallied three more runs in the seventh to give them a 9-7 win.

Adam Jones also homered in the win and now has 27 long balls and 94 RBI on the season to go along with a .301 average. Matt Wieters collected a pair of hits for the home team, and while Chris Davis went hitless, he scored a pair of runs and knocked home his 117th RBI.

Orioles starter Bud Norris had his worst outing since joining his new team at the trade deadline, allowing nine hits, three walks and seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, but luckily his teammates were able to bail him out.

"This is about the team battling back," Norris said. "They picked me up. To win that one, the first game of the series, is huge."

Francisco Rodriguez (2-0) earned the win after pitching a scoreless inning in relief, and Jim Johnson retired the side in the ninth inning for his American League-leading 40th save.

Oakland starter Dan Straily also struggled, allowing six earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings, although it was Ryan Cook (5-3) who was saddled with the loss.

Coco Crisp went 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot for the Athletics with a homer and three runs scored. Brandon Moss and Eric Sogard had two hits and two RBI apiece.

On Saturday, the Athletics will turn to Tommy Milone, who is 9-9 on the season with a 4.30 ERA.

Milone allowed just one earned run in his latest outing, a win 7-3 win over the Indians on Aug. 18, but he earned the no-decision as he pitched just 4 2/3 innings. It marked the third time in Milone's last five starts that he failed to make it out of the fifth inning.

Milone, who was one of the American League's top rookie hurlers in 2012 (13-10, 3.74 ERA), has not fared well away from Oakland on the campaign, sporting a 4-5 record with a 5.00 ERA on the road.

The Orioles will answer with Chris Tillman, who's been one of the majors' biggest surprises this season going 14-4 with a 3.79 ERA.

Despite Tillman's outstanding record, however, he has gone winless in three straight decisions after coming out victorious in 10 of his previous 11 outings. During his last time out against Tampa Bay on Aug. 19, he allowed four earned runs over six innings and was handed the loss.

The 25-year-old right-hander faced off against the Athletics on April 27 and earned a win after allowing two earned runs in six innings while striking out seven.