A's Top Orioles 3-2, Build Wild-Card Lead

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the Oakland Athletics looks back at home plate umpire Angel Hernandez while he is being congratulated by Jonny Gomes #31 after Cespedes hit a home run against the Baltimore Orioles at O.co Coliseum on September 14, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Friday night, the A's bested the Orioles 3-2, upping their wild-card lead while the Orioles remained in a first-place tie with the Yankees in the American League East.

Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run home run off of Joe Saunders in the fourth as the Oakland Athletics kept pace in the AL West race with a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore failed to leap over the Yankees for sole possession of the AL East crown when the offense stagnated against rookie pitcher Tommy Milone. Milone pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) off of six hits for his 13th win this season. Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save.

Chris Davis clubbed his 26th home run in the fifth inning to tie the game at 2-2, but Saunders wasn't able to hold it together. Jonny Gomes singled to left center to score Adam Rosales to give Oakland its final 3-2 lead.

Saunders lasted six innings and gave up three runs while striking out six. He lost his second game as an Oriole.

With the loss, Baltimore fell back in step with the New York Yankees, who also lost to the Rays 6-4. With the win and the losses by the two AL East teams, the A's retain their two-game lead for the first AL wild card while the Orioles and Yankees are tied for both the AL East crown and the second AL wild card.

For more on the Oakland Athletics, join the discussion over at Athletics Nation. For all news and information regarding the Baltimore Orioles, please visit Camden Chat. You can also check out everything we have to offer at Baseball Nation.

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