The Orioles and Athletics have suddenly become a very exciting, potential postseason matchup. It first started getting some juice thanks to a weird feud between two guys who featured prominently in this game: Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado. In a June series in Baltimore, Machado got upset at what he felt was an unnecessarily hard tag from Donaldson and threw his helmet at him. The benches cleared. Two days later, Machado appeared upset with a brushback pitch and flung his bat out on the field on the next pitch. The benches cleared again.
On Friday, the Orioles and Athletics were reacquainted in Oakland and started a weekend series as leaders of their respective divisions. With the score tied 2-2 in the seventh, Machado put the Orioles on top with a two-run home run off the newly acquired Jeff Samardzija. In the ninth, the Athletics began chipping away at that lead and Donaldson found himself up with two men on, no outs.
Reigning two-time Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Céspedes got things started with an infield single that Machado had no play on and then Brandon Moss hit a broken-bat flare to shallow right field. Donaldson hit a three-run bomb to center field off Zack Britton's very next pitch. Only the Oakland bench cleared this time.