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Orioles look to regain some ground in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Baltimore Orioles will try to get their playoff run back on track Thursday night when they send left-hander Wade Miley to the mound against Oakland Athletics right-hander Chris Smith at the Coliseum.

The Orioles are coming off back-to-back losses to the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim. They fell 3-2 on Tuesday night and 5-1 on Wednesday afternoon, dropping to 56-58 and 2 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot in the American League.

Baltimore managed only four hits Wednesday. Angels starter Troy Scribner held the Orioles to one run and two hits, including Welington Castillo's home run, in five innings.

The Orioles scored only nine runs in the three-game series. Four of those came on third baseman Manny Machado's grand slam in a 6-2 victory in the series opener.

"Every team (struggles) when the other pitches well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I'll tip my hat to them. We had four hits today. They pitched well. They pitched well for the most part for the whole series."

Miley (5-9, 5.51 ERA) will try to win back-to-back decisions for the first time this year.

Miley got the win on July 30 in an 11-6 victory at Texas when he allowed two runs and four hits in five innings with five strikeouts and one walk. Then on Saturday at Camden Yards, he got a no-decision in Baltimore's 5-2 win over Detroit. Miley gave up two runs and four hits in five innings with five strikeouts and three walks.

Miley is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three career starts against Oakland.

Smith will make his fifth major league start, all coming this season at age 36 for the A's.

"I love seeing him on the bump to start games," said A's catcher Bruce Maxwell, who played with Smith parts of the past two seasons at Triple-A Nashville. "I enjoy him on the mound. His story is remarkable. His family's amazing. His attitude and his positivity runs through this clubhouse like no other. I feel like he's earned it and deserved it."

Smith mixes a mid-80s fastball with mid-70s off-speed pitches and finds a way to survive in an era of power arms.

"We always mess with him, 'Dude, you throw below hitting speed,'" Maxwell said. "With his craft, how he executes, when you think about all these power arms in baseball now, and all the types of velocity and stuff, and he's going out there with 85 (mph) and you know he's got 85, but he's also not afraid to throw that 85 at you.

"I love watching it, I love being a part of it, and it's just something that's amazing to see. How he does it and what he does, it's an amazing story."

Smith is 0-1 with a 4.82 in five appearances, including one out of the bullpen last Thursday at San Francisco. He allowed four runs and five hits in four innings.

Smith is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career appearances against Baltimore, both in relief.

Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo was reinstated from the disabled list Wednesday after missing nine games with a right ribcage strain. He went 0-for-3 and struck out two times as the designated hitter.

The A's (50-64), who are in last place in the AL West, were swept by Seattle in a two-game series at the Coliseum. They blew a 6-2 lead and fell 7-6 in 10 innings on Tuesday night. The Mariners won 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon when Nelson Cruz hit two home runs and Kyle Seager blasted one.

A's left fielder Khris Davis hit his 31st home run of the season and second in two days. Matt Joyce added his 15th home run.

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