Bal 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 4
Oak 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 5
Date of game: 7/18/2014

Recap: Oakland vs. Baltimore

Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to boost the Oakland Athletics to a dramatic 5-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday in a battle of division leaders.

Donaldson, coming off his first All-Star appearance, took a first pitch from Zach Britton over the wall in center field. The hit came with Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss aboard and gave the A's their ninth win in 12 games and 60th victory (60-36) of the season.

Manny Machado, who drew plenty of boos at the Coliseum, belted a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh inning, but the Orioles failed to hold on.

Machado was playing his first game against the A's since drawing a five-game suspension for throwing his bat during a wild swing in a June 8 game at Camden Yards.

Two days earlier, Machado reacted angrily at Donaldson for what he perceived to be an unnecessarily forceful tag the third baseman applied to him on a force play. That prompted Baltimore pitcher Wei-Yin Chin to hit Donaldson with a pitch later in that game.

Derek Norris tied the game, 2-2, with a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the fifth.

Oakland didn't get another hit until Cespedes, the two-time reigning Home Run Derby champion, legged out an infield hit off a dribbler down the third-base line toward Machado. Moss followed with a broken-bat single to right to put runners at the corners.

Donaldson jumped all over a 96 mph fastball from Britton (3-2) for his 21st homer of the year and his third career walk-off homer.

"It was a pretty amazing game all the way around," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've seen it happen many times here. We're going to play all 27 outs."

J.J. Hardy had a pair of hits and scored twice for the Orioles, who entered the All-Star break in sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time since 1997.

"It's frustating not to be able to get that last out," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Jeff Samardzija gave up six hits in seven innings. Eric O'Flaherty (1-0) retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.

Three Baltimore players were hit by pitches in Friday's game, including Adam Jones being pegged on his left shoulder in the eighth inning by Ryan Cook.

In the end, though, it was the bat of Donaldson that boosted the A's to their 12th win in their last 13 home games.

"We just go out there and try to play our style of baseball," Donaldson said.

Samardzija grazed the jersey of Caleb Joseph with a pitch to start the third inning, but retired the next three hitters. The A's went ahead in the bottom half when Coco Crisp singled and scored on John Jaso's double to right-center.

Hardy was hit by a pitch on top of his helmet in the fifth and came home later in the frame on Jonathan Schoop's two-run blast to left.

Hardy singled to center with one out in the seventh. Machado then took a first offering from Samardzija over the wall in left field.

Game Notes

Machado has reached base safely in a career-high 17 straight games ... Orioles starter Chris Tillman surrendered four hits and a pair of runs over 6 2/3 innings. He remains unbeaten on the road in 12 starts this season ... Baltimore reliever Tommy Hunter, who fanned two over 1 1/3 innings, has not allowed an earned run in his last 11 appearances ... Cespedes snapped an 0- for-19 hitless streak with a single in the first inning.

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The Mountain West Conference winner lost one game the last two years after eight consecutive seasons of unbeaten campaigns. Don't expect a team to run the table in 2014 but Boise State could come close.

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