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Laureano saves A’s with glove, then hits decisive HR vs O’s

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Ramón Laureano has made so many magnificent catches by now he has a hard time ranking them. Or even remember them all. The same goes with impressive sequences when he might throw out someone with his mighty arm, then deliver a game-changing swing. The center fielder robbed the Orioles of the likely go-ahead run in the eighth inning Sunday and then hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the bottom half, sending the Oakland Athletics past Baltimore 7-5 to avoid a sweep.

“It’s hard for me to reflect during the season. It’s pretty up there,” Laureano said.

A fist-pumping, ecstatic Yusmeiro Petit (4-0) waited in front of the dugout for Laureano to run in from center field so he could congratulate the outfielder for a terrific leaping catch on the wall to steal an extra-base hit from DJ Stewart and strand a runner on second. Petit rarely shows that much emotion. A’s starter Sean Manaea celebrated madly inside after his workday was done.

“The guy’s a human highlight reel,” Manaea said. “Any time there’s a chance of a ball in his vicinity, it’s more than likely going to be caught, or something crazy’s going to happen, or he’s going to throw a guy out, whatever it is. He’s unbelievable out there in the center. Each time it just impresses you a little bit more than it already has, which is insane because the bar is already crazy high. It’s awesome.” Trey Mancini hit a tying, two-run single in the fifth. He put Baltimore ahead two innings later with an RBI single. The Orioles capitalized on another A’s mistake in this series – but Oakland rediscovered some of its late-inning magic.

Laureano’s fifth homer came against Travis Lakins (1-2). Lou Trivino escaped trouble in the ninth for his career-best fifth save. “That’s just taking over a game. It’s taking away two and giving you two,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s pretty dramatic stuff.”

Slugging A’s first baseman Matt Olson returned after a three-game absence with an injury to his eye area and hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Oakland won for only the third time in eight games after a 13-game winning streak. Olson had a scare during batting practice Thursday when he got hit near his left eye by a ball that ricocheted off a screen, and he was a late scratch.

Austin Hays tied the game at 2 in the third with a solo homer after Freddy Galvis hit an RBI single off Manaea. In five innings, the lefty allowed four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts, no walks, and two wild pitches.

After losing his first season, Manaea had gone 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA over his last four outings.

After three straight losing starts for the Orioles, Bruce Zimmermann took a no-decision and is making strides with all his pitches. He allowed seven hits, four runs – three earned – and two walks with four strikeouts and two hit batters over 4 2/3 innings. “I thought he threw some nice secondary pitches. Being able to locate your fastball on both sides against good lineups is important,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.

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