Michael R. Smith/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BALTIMORE — Seven was definitely a lucky number for Oakland Athletics catcher Kyle McCann.

In his seventh career game in the Big Leagues, McCann smacked the second home run of his career, a go-ahead two-run blast in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Athletics to a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Sunday afternoon. Completing a road trip against the teams sporting the three best records in the American League, the Athletics rebounded from being swept by the Cleveland Guardians last weekend to earn a split of a four-game set in Yankee Stadium before winning two out of three this weekend in Baltimore.

In both wins against the Orioles this weekend, Oakland took advantage of an erratic Craig Kimbrel, who blew his second save of the series — both coming after taking the mound with his team holding on to a one-run lead. Darell Hernaiz walked on four pitches to start the ninth to before McCann, the team’s reserve catcher, battled during a nine-pitch at bat in which he fouled off two pitches at 3-2. On the final pitch, McCann lifted a fastball just over the right field wall for the two-run homer to give the Athletics the lead.

“He walked Darrel with four straight, so I was going to take until I got a strike,” McCann said. “Once I got that strike, it was time to battle. He kept throwing me fastballs. I kept asking myself, ‘Am I going to see that curveball?’ The pitch before the homer, I fully sold out on the heater. He threw it in a good spot and I put a good swing on it.”

McCann went 2-for-4 on the day, collecting his fourth and fifth hits in the Majors.

“This is the biggest moment of my career,” McCann said. “It feels great.”

Kimbrel threw two more balls to the next hitter before Orioles manager Brandon Hyde and the trainer came out for a second time in the inning — the first time after the first two pitches to McCann, which were both out of the strike zone — to take a look at the Orioles’ closer, who eventually came out after the second visit.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s game, with photos taken by DC-area photographer Michael R. Smith. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 19 pictures in total.

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