The Baltimore Orioles were in the process of taking a 4-0 lead in the first inning and Oakland manager Art Howe had no choice but to cling to one very optimistic thought.
"I figured it could only get better," he said.Fortunately for the A's, that's exactly what happened Sunday. Oakland starter Tom Candiotti used a tip from his pitching coach to correct a flaw in his delivery and stymied the reeling Orioles over the next six innings in a 12-4 victory.
Rickey Henderson hit his second career grand slam and Jason Giambi drove in three runs for the A's, who won two of three from Baltimore after coming to Camden Yards as the only team in the majors without a road win.
"You've got to feel good about it," Howe said. "Not too many teams come in here and win two out of three. We made the most of this series, and it's something to build on."
Candiotti (2-3) allowed five hits in seven innings for his second straight win. The knuckleballer allowed hits to the first four batters he faced, but Baltimore's only hit after that was a double by Rafael Palmeiro in the second.
Baltimore has lost eight of 11, allowing an average of 7.9 runs in that span. After winning their first four series of the season, the Orioles have lost four straight series for the first time since July 31-Aug. 16, 1995.
RANGERS 11, ROYALS 4: Aaron Sele (5-0) became the first five-game winner in the majors and Juan Gonzalez homered twice and drove in four runs.
Gonzalez, who drove in five runs on Saturday night, has 32 RBIs in April, two shy of Tino Martinez's record for the month, and 33 in all.
Sele (5-0) allowed four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. Chris Haney (2-1) gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.
TWINS 2, MARINERS 0: Brad Radke (3-1) combined with Mike Trombley, Greg Swindell and Rick Aguilera on a six-hitter - Minnesota's first shutout this year. Aguilera pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Terry Steinbach and Marty Cordova drove in Minnesota's runs in the seventh off Jamie Moyer (1-3).
WHITE SOX 5, BLUE JAYS 5 (tie): Albert Belle hit a solo homer and Ray Durham hit a three-run double in a game ended by rain after six innings. The game, called after a 1-hour, 49-minute wait, will be replayed in its entirety as part of a doubleheader on July 15. All records from Sunday count.
Carlos Delgado drove in three runs for Toronto with a two-run double and an RBI single.